Meeting Wednesday invites businesses to discuss whether or not Seventh Street should reopen to cars
With the Seventh Street Beautification Project nearing completion, Glenwood Springs City Council wants to know if downtown businesses believe the “festival street” should reopen to traffic.
To hear from those impacted restaurants, bars, retail shops, hotels and others, the city will host a Seventh Street meeting at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in council chambers, located on the first floor of City Hall at 101 Eighth St.
Seventh Street’s options include: opening the street to vehicle traffic; closing it to vehicles and only allowing pedestrian access; or closing it seasonally and/or for special events.
“In my opinion, the top priority for Seventh Street is that it becomes something that is pedestrian and visitor friendly,” Providence Apothecary co-owner John Lee said. “The downtown core lacks a space where visitors and locals can decompress.”
Located at 713 Cooper Ave., Providence Apothecary resides just footsteps away from Seventh Street.
Lee described how the downtown core’s side streets, like Cooper, had become busier and parking more competitive; all the more reason Lee wanted a relaxing and quiet space.
“It can and it should be one of those areas,” Lee said. “I don’t think that making it a pedestrian-friendly quiet zone rules out one way traffic or seasonal closures.”
According to CDOT data, approximately 28,000 cars travel between the Grand Avenue Bridge and 23rd Street in Glenwood Springs daily.
At its last regularly scheduled meeting, City Council in a 5-2 vote approved a motion to keep Seventh Street closed at least until its Sept. 5 meeting, in order to hear from the business community, the Downtown Development Authority and the Transportation Commission.
According to the city’s website, the Seventh Street Beautification project, “will benefit the community by creating a destination pedestrian environment, providing space for community events, supporting four seasons of commercial activity, preserving convenient access and circulation, and adding ADA parking.”
As of Monday, Seventh Street remained closed to vehicle traffic between Colorado and Cooper avenues.
“We want to get broad input on whether we should open or close Seventh Street so that we’re not just making decisions on what we think, but what our constituents think,” Councilor Charlie Willman said.
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