Public metes out advice on downtown Glenwood parking, meters
The Glenwood Springs Downtown Development Authority is giving power to the people … at least some of it. In the search for solutions for the downtown Glenwood Springs parking conundrum, public input is key, DDA director Bill Evans said. At a public meeting on the subject last Wednesday at the Community Center, about 30 people showed up to air ideas, complaints and comments.”There’s not a lot of surprises in what we heard, but it’s the process of having the public involved that’s important,” Evans said. Ideas and suggestions included stiffer parking fines, paid parking meters and permits for residents who live in the downtown core. “There’s still a difference of opinion on parking meters,” he said.Amongst the ranks of downtown merchants, some feel meters would drive away potential customers, while others feel the meters would create more turnover among parked shoppers, and thus more sales opportunities. A survey will be taken later this summer to determine the driving, parking and shopping habits of those who park there. The survey will seek information about what drivers will and will not tolerate. “We will, in fact, ask people if parking meters will be a problem for them,” Evans said. By the time the meeting was done, Evans said, those who showed up pointed out parking problems throughout the downtown core. “It’s an interesting thing, the places where the problems were sort of covered the entire downtown,” he said. Evans said the DDA is waiting to conduct the survey for two reasons:-First, he feels it would be more accurate taken during the prime tourist season.-Second, there are two parking lots being built – one at the old Glenwood Springs Municipal Operations Center and the other at the old Garfield County jail site. These lots could take much of the parking pressure off city streets. “By far, the biggest problem everyone perceives is the great number of employees we have downtown,” he said. “It wouldn’t make sense to go out and measure before the two lots (are opened).”Two more public meetings are planned for later in the year.The first meeting will be to take input on the results of the survey. It will likely be held in late summer. The last meeting, held after a plan of action is developed, will be set up to receive public input and scrutiny on that plan. “That’s when you really get participation and say what you’re going to do,” Evans said.
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