Glenwood council moves to ban smoking downtown |

Glenwood council moves to ban smoking downtown

Jack Reyering

Downtown Glenwood Springs is one step closer to being a smoke free environment.

City Council on Thursday night unanimously voted on first reading to prohibit smoking in certain areas downtown, including within the downtown development authority’s borders — an area that goes as far south as 11th Street on Grand Avenue, and as far north as Fifth Street on the opposite side of the Colorado River.

The ban also extends to public parks and recreation areas, and smoking would be prohibited within 25 feet of transit stops and common, active or passive open space.

Karl Hanlon, city attorney, explained the rationale for imposing the ban on specific parts of town.

“This is for the public areas where you can’t get away from it,” Hanlon said. “High pedestrian areas, public transit areas, parks, bus stops; that kind of stuff.”

Council previously discussed the issue last September. At that meeting, several councilors mentioned the issue of personal freedom, but added that they have the authority to weigh in on where that freedom should be exercised.

When discussion started Thursday, council members briefly pointed out the well-documented negative health implications of secondhand smoke.

“Smoking in public negatively affects those around it,” said Councilwoman Kathryn Trauger. “We should protect public safety and welfare in public areas.”

Council’s debate on the subject was short, but some members did raise a few questions, including how enforcement would be handled.

“There is going to be an educational component to this,” Hanlon said. “As far as enforcement, we are going to work on compliance more than writing tickets.”

Council also pointed out that this would probably be a problem outside of downtown bars, which regularly have small crowds outside their establishments to smoke during late night hours.

While the discussion last September generted ideas and opinions from downtown-area residents and a business owner in attendance, there was no public comment on the issue Thursday.

The ordinance will appear before council for second reading at a future meeting.

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