Glenwood’s downtown parking problems headed toward permit solution | PostIndependent.com

Glenwood’s downtown parking problems headed toward permit solution

A pedestrian crosses Blake Avenue at Ninth Street in downtown Glenwood Springs, where the availability of on-street parking for local residents and businesses is an ongoing issue.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Downtown parking permit area

Following are the residential areas qualifying for the proposed city parking permits:

Blake Avenue – 700 block

Colorado Avenue – 700, 800 and 900 blocks

Cooper Avenue – 700 and 800 blocks, as well as north half of the 900 Block (900-916)

Grand Avenue – 700, 800, and 900 blocks

Pitkin Avenue – 800 and 900 blocks

Seventh Street – 200, 300 and 400 blocks

Eighth Street – 100, 200, 300 and 400 blocks

Ninth Street – 100, 200, 300 and 400 blocks

10th Street – 200 block

While many Glenwood Springs residents enjoy living downtown, ask them about parking downtown and their enthusiasm quickly wanes.

Thursday night, at its regularly scheduled meeting, City Council may adopt a resolution that proposes a handful of new parking rules and regulations for the city’s downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

However, perhaps the most significant change falls upon residents residing in certain downtown areas, as they will need to pay a $50 administrative fee if they want a residential parking permit.

Under the proposal, the city would issue a maximum of two permits per residential unit. Each permit would remain valid for one year. Currently, no fee for a residential parking pass exists.

“It would still be first-come, first-served,” City Manager Debra Figueroa said, when asked if a residential parking pass would guarantee a resident a space in front of their home.

Few people question whether the downtown parking situation has gotten worse. But that doesn’t mean everyone supports the proposed payment remedy.

“I do not support charging our downtown residents for parking permits, while providing free parking to virtually every other person that wants to park downtown,” Councilor Shelley Kaup said, adding she also opposes eliminating resident parking from the city-owned, public parking lots.

In addition to charging many downtown residents for permits, the proposed resolution would also impose new rules and regulations on two prominent parking lots.

According to city officials, the resolution would bar residential parking in the lot located at Colorado Avenue and Seventh Street. The city also hopes to reach an agreement with Garfield County to create four-hour parking in that same lot.

“We are working on an agreement with the county. It has not yet been approved,” Figueroa explained of the four-hour parking possibility in that location.

Additionally, the surface parking lot located near Cooper and Eighth Street next to the downtown fire station would allow 72-hour parking for residents, if the resolution is adopted.

“Other than marked two-hour parking, on-street parking throughout the city is 72 hours. This lot will allow residents to park here, rather than on the street, and hopefully free [up] some on-street parking,” Figueroa said of the Cooper and Eighth Street lot.

The last major change the resolution proposes includes eliminating visitor parking passes within the city’s designate general improvements district (GID). An overlay in the city’s downtown area, the GID was first approved in 1980 and allows development without requiring parking.

“As downtown becomes increasingly popular and vibrant, parking is more of a challenge,” Kaup said. “This is an indicator of a successful downtown so we will need to expand transportation solutions — transit, bike, and pedestrian facilities — as well as automobile parking.”

Added Figueroa, “The city intends to evaluate downtown parking in a more comprehensive manner in 2019. This evaluation will involve opportunities for further public input and hopefully assist the city in creating additional parking resources for residents, businesses and visitors.”

mabennett@postindependent.com


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