Parking problems predicted during eventful weekend in downtown SLC

Posted at 4:25 PM, Sep 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-04 18:25:22-04

SALT LAKE CITY --- It’s going to be a very busy weekend in Salt Lake City as more than 250,000 people are expected to be in town for various events.

Comic Con, The Greek Festival, The Utah State Fair and a football game between the University of Utah and Weber State University are all slated for this weekend, along with several other events.

Jason Mathis, executive director for the Downtown Alliance, said it will be one of the busiest weekends Salt Lake City has ever seen.

“If you've ever complained that you feel like you don't live in a big enough city, you feel like there's not enough vibrancy, please come downtown this weekend; you will never have that complaint again,” he said.

While the events mean there will be plenty to do, parking will probably not be plentiful. There are 30,000 parking spots downtown, and Comic Con alone is expected to bring in 45,000 people each day.

Matt Pieper of Comic Con said: “That makes me think of a traffic nightmare, so that's not what I really want to deal with.”

Robin Hutcheson, Salt Lake City transportation director, said there are a few things people can do to mitigate the parking quagmire.

“One thing you can do before you get into your car, go to that's going to show you exactly where there's parking," she said. "It shows you garages, how many spots are in those garages, and the rates of those garages.”

City officials also recommended that people use public transportation, car pool or ride bicycles.

Utahns who plan to head downtown for the weekend had a variety of plans for dealing with parking problems.

“We are just going to take the TRAX and FrontRunner and see what happens,” Ogden resident Paul Brower said.

Cathy Steiner of Rogers, Arkansas said she and her companions plan to park farther away and do some walking. She said the extra distance is worth the effort.

“It's going to be epic, and everybody that didn't go this year: they'll wish they had, and they'll want to go next year.”

The Utah Transit Authority has increased its train and TRAX services for this weekend, and it also has  a deal where those who present their ticket to the U of U vs. WSU game or the state fair can get a free ride. Visit UTA's website for public transit schedules.