GLENWOOD SPRINGS — City Council tonight will consider a range of options for converting a portion of Cooper Avenue to two-way traffic in order to make it easier to get into and out of the city’s downtown parking garage.
Since the new two-level parking deck opened in late 2012, police and area residents have observed numerous people either turning from Ninth Street the wrong direction onto Cooper, or traveling the wrong direction up the street from the lower-level exit to the upper deck entrance to find a place to park.
Following a recent downtown traffic circulation study that included input from a citizens advisory group, city staff is recommending that the 900 block of Cooper be changed from one-way northbound to a two-way street, primarily to avoid that problem.
Converting that block to two-way traffic would still maintain existing street parking, including the diagonal spaces on the east side and parallel parking on the west side, with two 10-foot travel lanes, according to city engineer Terri Partch.
The change would result in a “slight” increase in traffic volumes in that block of Cooper, but would allow parking garage users better access, she noted in a memo to council members. Cooper Avenue from 10th Street to 13th Street would remain one-way northbound.
Consultants did present some other options for council to consider, of which will be discussed at tonight’s meeting.
One would involve changing just a 50-foot portion of Cooper south of Ninth to two-way traffic in order to allow better parking garage access, but maintaining one-way travel between the parking garage and 10th Street.
Another option would involve flipping the one-way travel directions between Cooper Avenue and Colorado Avenue on the west side of Grand Avenue. In that scenario, Cooper would become one-way south from Ninth to 13th, and Colorado would carry one-way traffic north.
A fourth option would be to maintain the status quo. The regular Glenwood Springs City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight at City Hall, 101 W. Eighth St.