Driving off parking plan misconceptions | PostIndependent.com

Driving off parking plan misconceptions

Dear Editor,

Regarding the reaction to the Glenwood Springs Downtown Development Authority’s proposal to lead in producing a strategic plan for downtown parking:

“What we got here, is a failure to communicate!”

That famous line has a wonderful coincidence for us: It comes from an old movie in which the opening scene occurs in a small town, at sunrise as I recall, where our drunken, anti-establishment hero is cutting the heads off of . downtown parking meters!

The proposal to produce a “Strategic Plan for Parking,” with the exception of the price tag, according to City Council, is fine. The “failure to communicate” is on the receiving end – by the Post Independent. The headline to reporter Greg Masse’s story (March 19) was oversimplified, and two of the first three paragraphs were inaccurate. To spend time and money to merely “study parking” is also oversimplified and ambiguous at best. The DDA did not simply propose to “hire a consultant to look at paid parking downtown”; nor has the DDA “recently headed a task force.”

So it’s easy to see how the third-hand reaction by reader, and friend, Randy Corry was perhaps understandable, since Randy probably hadn’t seen the proposal himself.

To clarify the record, what our proposal does say quite clearly is this: Along with the director of community development, the city engineer, and the Traffic Demand Management (TDM) project, DDA has offered to spearhead a task force with “broad representation from the community to produce a strategic plan for downtown parking.”

The task force planners (there is no task force yet) have identified 12 groups with a stake in downtown parking, many with conflicting interests. Considering that variety of needs and interests, and the range of solutions available – from parking meters to large parking structures – the proposal further recommends and promises to produce both immediate, short-term solutions, and a long-term, three- to 10-year plan.

Those are hefty tasks with potential for tangible results, so it seems more than advisable to pay a reasonable amount to a consultant to avoid mistakes other towns have endured. We will try to reduce our initial estimate as City Council requested (no “failure to communicate” there, boss).

As Greg Masse correctly reported, apparently simple or limited parking solutions will have an immediate domino effect, possibly compounding existing problems. Each piece of the solution to the parking puzzle must fit together and fit with alternatives to car traffic as encouraged through TDM. It seems worth the effort to implement logical, interrelated solutions that will work harmoniously into the future.

Bill Evans

Director, Downtown

Development Authority

Glenwood Springs

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