Pitkin in pickle over parking
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The downtown parking problem here has Scott Ryan at his wits’ end.
Ryan, who lives in the 800 block of Pitkin Avenue, complained to the Glenwood Springs City Council and Garfield County commissioners Tuesday at a joint meeting about his neighborhood’s parking congestion.
“I can’t park in front of my own house probably 90 percent of the time during the week,” he said. “It’s the same cars, day in and day out, and they don’t move.”
Ryan claims parking in his neighborhood, always competitive, became markedly worse in March 2002 – around the same time the new Garfield County Courthouse Plaza opened its doors.
“I kept thinking once the construction ended, things would improve,” he said.
But they didn’t, so Ryan took his gripe to City Hall.
City engineers are formulating a new parking plan and city officials insist that city employees be required to use the new parking lot on 7th Street.
County Commissioner John Martin said county workers have been asked to stop parking in the residential areas, but nothing requires them to do so.
Martin said requiring county employees to use a parking lot could violate their constitutional rights.
“It’s free will. People choose not to walk,” he said.
Ryan said he doesn’t want to point fingers, but just to get the problem fixed.
“I don’t really care who it is doing it, it’s the principle,” Ryan said. “It’s ruining the quality of life for the people who live here.”
He said the city should follow Aspen’s lead and implement a two-hour parking restriction in downtown neighborhoods, giving neighborhood residents a permit exempting them from the restrictions.
“If there’s people coming and going, at least there’s some vibrancy to it and some hope,” Ryan said of a two-hour limit.
City Councilman Rick Davis, noting that a new city parking plan is on the way, said the city should “kick this up a notch.”
In other business at the joint meeting, City Council members asked the county commissioners where they stand on the proposed bridge and bypass south of Glenwood Springs.
Commissioners said they want to learn the fate of the Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport before making any decisions on whether to financially back the bridge.
“I think the biggest stumbling block is, where are we going to get this money?” Martin said.
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext 511
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