Temporary parking regs enforced for Centennial celebration

By: 
Jasmine Hall

Contemplate hard if you’re willing to leave your vehicle in a “no parking” area while in Gardiner this week because it’s going to cost a lot more than a simple parking ticket.

The Park County Commission approved a temporary parking regulation for Gardiner Tuesday morning, which will allow law enforcement to tow vehicles parked in designated areas marked with “no parking” signs. 

Park County Attorney Shannan Piccolo told commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting that the regulation would help mitigate traffic congestion from the upcoming Evening at the Arch celebration by clearing the streets and bus routes. Piccolo added the regulation would also give the Park County Sheriff’s Office the ability to tow vehicles parked in areas with “no parking” signs at the owner’s expense rather than simply writing a parking ticket. 

“It really doesn’t do the public safety issue much good if (vehicles are) just in there and blocking traffic,” she said.

Piccolo added she believes the Gardiner Chamber of Commerce will allow the Gardiner rodeo grounds to be used as a parking lot for towed vehicles.

“Obviously that would defeat the purpose of being able to tow because it would take the whole time to drag a car back up (to Livingston),” she said.

Commissioners were concerned that individuals who park in the “no parking” areas may not realize their vehicles might be towed as county signs do not clearly indicate towing. However, commissioners approved the temporary regulation leaving it up to motorists to respect the signage. 

“It might be more effective (to include towing on signage),” Commissioner Steve Caldwell said. “ County signs don’t say towing and assuming people will probably park there thinking ‘Well it will just be a ticket, I’ll just pay for the ticket.’”

“We’ll assume everybody will respect the signage,” Commissioner Marty Malone added.

The regulation will be in effect through Friday. 

Following the 9 a.m. commission meeting, personnel from departments including Park County Rural Fire District #1, Livingston Police Department, Livingston School District, The City of Livingston and Park County met to discuss other safety concerns for the county. 

An estimated 6,000 people are expected to attend the Evening at the Arch event and even more expected to pass through Park County for YNP’s free admittance week.

Officials are warning Park County residents to “pack their patience,” Emily Post, Park County Public Communication Administrator, said. Post added officials expect traffic will be backed up on Interstate 90 as well as throughout Paradise Valley, and are advising county residents to plan ahead for the rest of the week. 

In Livingston, Post said officials are warning city residents to be aware of increased traffic as there will be several events Aug. 25 throughout the day — including a local Picnic at the Park event beginning at 3 p.m. and downtown parade at 4 p.m. 

School district officials are also preparing for the beginning of the school year starting this week, and are warning parents to be prepared for unusual traffic situations, Post said. 

Drivers approaching stopped student buses are reminded to stop and not pass for student safety, she said adding a parent will be on board to escort children across streets. 

-----

Jasmine Hall may be reached at jhall@livent.net.