Town council discusses parking |

Town council discusses parking

Post Independent Writer

By Greg Masse

Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – “The issue that never dies in Glenwood Springs.”

That’s how Mayor Larry Emery described the parking shortage in the downtown core of the city.

After much prodding by local business owners, workers and others who need all-day parking in the downtown core, City Council again found itself discussing the area’s lack of parking. Council members also talked about problems caused by their latest attempt at a solution to the shortage.

“I’m responsible for this being on the agenda because I was personally assailed by numerous downtown business people and users when we put the 45 two-hour spots in place,” Emery said.

Council implemented phase 2 of its parking plan, which included the conversion of 45 all-day spaces to two-hour spaces, in January. Signs informing motorists of this restriction were installed by the end of March.

Phase 2 changed one parking lot in the 700 block of Colorado Avenue from all-day car storage to two-hour parking. It also converted two rows of parking spaces behind the U.S. Forest Service building at 9th Street and Grand Avenue from all-day to two-hour parking.

Since phase 2 took effect, Emery said a lot of people have been outspoken in their opposition to the program.

“I will say I’ve had more calls on this issue than I got on Meadows or the controversial project Red Feather Ridge. People are pretty worked up about it in a big way and I’d like to see if we can’t go backwards,” Emery said.

Test phase 2 over the summer

Some council members argued that phase 2 should be left as it is during the busy summer season so it can be tested during the city’s high season.

“There was a lot of effort put into this plan,” City Councilman Dan Richardson said.

Councilman Dave Merritt agreed.

“I think we need to stick with this plan for a while, especially during the summer in crunch time,” he said.

Those in favor of keeping phase 2 intact also said 35 new two-hour parking spaces at the new downtown fire station – which is slated to open during the week after the Fourth of July – should give some relief to downtown workers looking for a place to park during their work shift.

Colorado Mountain College officials and other downtown parkers requested four-hour downtown parking passes, but council members rejected the request. City transportation manager Melissa Laeser said it would be too hard to enforce.

“We can’t with our system,” she said. “It’s hard to enforce four-hour parking on top of the two-hour and eight-hour.”

In other business, City Council:

– Held a work session to discuss which types of buses should be purchased to replace the aging Ride Glenwood Springs fleet, possible bus routes for the Grand Avenue Paving Project and to talk about whether Midland Avenue should be converted to an official alternate route during GAPP.

No decision were made on the buses or routes. Council determined that commuters should be encouraged to use Midland Avenue during GAPP, but it should not become the city’s official alternate route.

– Approved borrowing $2 million through Key Construction to build the Aquatic Center. Key Construction is the general contractor building the center.

– Approved a motion that lets the city manager and city attorney negotiate a lease for Roaring Fork Anglers to upgrade the old gas station at 2205 Grand Ave. and convert it into a fly fishing shop.

– Approved an amendment to a license to encroach that allows Shane Eagan to sell soup and other food from his soup cart at various locations throughout the city.

– Approved a major subdivision for nine townhome lots at 0110 135 Road.

– Approved a request for the Hotel Denver and Denver Centre to condominiumize and sell 21 commercial units.

– Gave a conceptual review of the proposed hotel, restaurant and retail space at the base of the Glenwood Caverns Tram.

– Approved a request by Councilman Dan Richardson to change the date of council’s goal-setting session so goals are set before the budget is approved.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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