Parking enforcement follows emergency access on Davis Drive in Glenwood Springs

ENG:Aerial view of Davis Drive during the day when there are less cars parked on it. ESP: Vista aérea de Davis Drive durante el día cuando la calle no tiene todos los autos estacionados en la misma.
Davis Drive-Courtesy | Glenwood Springs Fire Department

Residents on Davis Drive are being required to follow the original development plan’s parking restrictions due to safety concerns with emergency access.

“As a staff, we believe our highest and most basic function is community life safety. I think it’s the most important thing we do here,” City Engineer Terri Partch said. “When we have emergency events, be they police events or fire or EMS, the minutes matter in saving lives and property.”

The city of Glenwood Springs has created multiple community outreaches to inform the residents of these necessary safety precautions, according to a Glenwood Springs city staff work session presentation on Sept. 1. Enforcement of the limited parking begins Sept.19. 

When the street is lined with parked vehicles, it doesn’t meet the minimum firelane width that fire trucks need to safely get in and out of the cul-de-sac. This can also be a challenge for first responders to gain access to the houses in the street. 

“My folks, my hard-working men and women that are responding to these calls are seeing a growing number of areas like this,” Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Gary Tillotson said. “When I was working the streets 30 years ago there weren’t near this many parked cars causing problems, and it’s gradually gotten worse.” 

And, once a fire truck gets into the cul-de-sac, it is unable to turn around if the street is lined completely with parked vehicles. It is then forced to back out of the neighborhood which is dangerous and slows down the response time of the fire department.

“Why the codes require 20 feet of driving surface and that surface is unimpeded by parked cars is so that if the fire engine is coming in and people are evacuating, people can get out and get past it,” Tillotson said. 

Parking will only be allowed in designated spaces along Davis Drive and Overlin Drive. Per the Model Traffic Code and Fire Code, according to outreach signage: 

a. No parking shall be within 20 feet of a roadway intersection. 

b. No parking shall be within 5 feet of a permitted driveway. 

c. No parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. 

d. No parking within a cul-de-sac. 

e. No parking within 10 feet of a mailbox. 

f. Twenty feet of clear travel way must be always maintained along Cowdin Drive, Overlin Drive and Davis Drive.

Also, residents are not allowed to create signs to designate parking, nor are they allowed to have other residents’ vehicles towed. Any vehicles parked in the city right-of-way for more than 72 hours will be considered abandoned and subject to towing. 

“Even (if the cul-de-sac) was empty of cars, our current fire engines would require all of that space in order to do a U-turn and come back,” Tillotson said.

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