OGDEN -- City officials thought they had a solution to the parking mess near Mount Ogden Park, but a year and a half after making it illegal to park on the west side of Taylor Avenue, residents in the area say things aren't completely fixed.
In the spring of 2012, after receiving complaints from residents who live near the park, the city made it illegal for motorists who don't live in the neighborhood to park their cars on the west side of Taylor where the street runs adjacent to the park near 3144 Taylor Ave.
Seen by many as Ogden's premier park, Mount Ogden Park is used for a variety of activities, including soccer, tennis, pickleball, picnics, barbecuing, sledding and even cross-country skiing.
The city made it illegal to park on the west side of Taylor because, when the park got busy, vehicles would stack up on the street. Residents told city officials stories of unknown cars blocking access to their driveways, cars actually parked in their driveways, garbage cans being moved and other forms of general chaos.
The city installed signs and painted the curbing on the street, warning nonresidents not to park there. They also issued parking permits to residents of the neighborhood, allowing them and their guests to park on the street.
"But that hasn't done a whole lot," said Dave Deis, who lives at 3051 Taylor. "It was obviously something that needed to be done, and we're glad the city did that, but people are still parking on our side of the street."
Deis said the park gets particularly busy on the weekends, when a number of soccer leagues use the park.
"This is Ogden High's primary soccer field," Deis said. "There's AYSO soccer, there's club soccer, there's the Hispanic soccer league. And so you not only have all the soccer players, but you've got all the people coming to watch. And they're all looking for somewhere to park."
Brittany Lund, Deis' neighbor to the south, agreed parking is still an issue, but not the only one.
"The whole parking thing can still be a mess, but speeding along this street, for me, is the bigger concern," she said.
"When cars are stacked up on both sides of the street and you've got little kids running back and forth to the park and then cars are driving 40 miles an hour -- that's just a recipe for disaster."
Ima Jean Atkinson also lives on Taylor, across the street from the park.
"I've seen the police up here giving people tickets," she said. "But people are still parking here. I think they just don't really care."
Ogden City Chief Administrative Officer Mark Johnson said the city is aware of the issue and has been in contact with some of the residents on the street, working toward some kind of solution.
"(Parking) is still an issue, and we're working through it," he said. "We are working on increasing the enforcement there, but it's impossible for us to have officers there every waking hour of the day."
Johnson said the city has tried to adjust schedules for park activities so that large groups aren't converging on the park all at once, but they may ultimately have to set stricter limits.
"The park is overused to the max," he said. "We're in the process of presenting some things to the city council about toning down the usage a little bit."
Deis agreed with Johnson, saying the park is indeed overused, and hopes the city can come up with some meaningful solutions to address this reality.
"All you have to do is walk over there and look at the soccer fields," Deis said.
"It's worn down to the dirt in several areas. So now you not only have this parking issue, but you have a park that is basically just being run into the ground. We need to do something about it."
Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.