30 September 2008

2/3 Utah Park & Rides are LDS parking lots

Until we sell our house and permanently settle here in Utah, I am temporarily staying with family in Lehi and taking an Express Bus in to downtown Salt Lake for work. In searching for transit options on UTA’s website, I have discovered a large number of LDS parking lots that are being used for Park and Ride stops since they lie on transit lines. In fact, two out of every three park & ride lots are at LDS Meetinghouses according to the list on Utah Transit Authority's (UTA) website.

Park & Ride off State Street in Lehi from Google Map Street View

Number of LDS parking lots used as Park & Ride lots:
Davis County – 10
Weber County – 4
Tooele County – 3
Utah County – 12
Salt Lake County – 64

From these five counties, 90 total LDS parking lots are being used out of 136 total Park & Ride sites listed. These are all adjacent to bus lines. I can’t speak about all of them, but the lots in and around Lehi are completely full by 7:00am. From the website, the only lot with any strings attached is in Orem where a special permit is required by the Sunset Heights Stake in order to park there. The others are open to anyone and first come-first serve. In addition to the bus lines, there are also three LDS parking lots in Sandy that are allowed for public use which are adjacent to the light rail (TRAX).

The following rules apply for LDS Church parking lots: “Only those lots listed on UTA’s website have been approved for use as a park & ride facility...Park and ride use of this lot is permitted by the property owner as a courtesy to UTA patrons. Your cooperation is sincerely appreciated and will make the continued use of this lot possible.” Additionally, users cannot park for more than 24 hours or on Sundays.

This is a fabulous shared use of resources since most LDS parking lots sit empty during the week. I am glad to see so many LDS meetinghouses built along these transit lines and I am also glad that the Church allows commuters to use them during the work week. This not only helps free up traffic and congestion on the roads, but also lessens pollution by encouraging transit use.


Reuben said...

This is very good to hear. I am pleasantly surprised to hear that the LDS church allows this. I never would have guessed that the LDS church would have agreed to this. In my experience, the LDS church regularly refuses the use of its chapels for anything other than official church uses.

Mellifera said...

At least here in the South, they're frequently used for polling places like any other church.... (You have to wonder if evangelical voters are ok with this. "Satan's gonna swallow ma votes!")

It's a pretty logical arrangement: they're scattered everywhere in residential areas, and otherwise are only used during non-working hours.

Jayme said...

I knew that UTA shares a parking structure w/ the University of Utah LDS Institute, but was unaware of meetinghouse parking lots being put to similar uses. What a wonderful way to maximize the utility of church buildings and parking!

Johnna said...

cool! I am completely non-Utah mormon, but I still feel proud of my people when I hear we're letting our lots be used for park-n-ride.