City parking problem is matter of perception |

City parking problem is matter of perception

Greg Masse
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Despite the expectation of additional steps in the city’s downtown parking plan, city transportation manager Melissa Laeser said no immediate changes will be recommended.

The recommendation, which will be presented to the Glenwood Springs City Council at its regular meeting Thursday, includes an updated parking survey conducted by the Glenwood Springs Parking Task Force. The survey, taken during the peak hours of the summer season in 2003, shows that downtown parking occupancy was only at 62.6 percent of capacity.

“I don’t know what council is going to think about this because there’s the perception that there’s not enough parking downtown,” Laeser said. “But there actually is. You just have to walk a few blocks.”

When the original survey was done in 2002, downtown parking spaces were 70 percent full. In the year since then, new parking lots and more people riding buses and carpools have lowered the number of full spaces by more than 7 percent.

“This is the gist of the argument: If you want parking in front of your store, there’s not enough,” Laeser said. “So the perception of parking is bad downtown, but availability is good.”

New parking lots west and north of City Hall, along with Colorado Mountain College’s new policy of using Transportation Demand Management alternatives like busing and carpooling, have helped the parking situation in the downtown core, Laeser said.

“They have a parking program, as well as a subsidized bus program,” Laeser said of CMC. “We really like that they did that.”

So the recommendation to council from the parking task force will be to leave all parking spaces as they are now and continue to monitor the situation, Laeser said.

“They’ll do the whole survey again in 2004 and into the future,” she said.

Also on the agenda, City Council will:

– Receive the results of the summer comprehensive plan outreach meetings.

– Discuss possible funding options for the aquatic center.

– Discuss possible projects that could be done with enhancement grants.

– Consider whether to support the adoption of the Garfield County 2030 Transportation Strategy Plan.

– Consider whether to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Transportation Development for public transportation services in non-urbanized areas.

– Discuss the process for hiring the next city manager.

– Appoint council members to various boards and commissions.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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