Green Mountain Falls Paid Parking Dilemma Heads To Round Three
No firm date is set for the final decision
Question of the month: which controversy is most likely to be resolved faster?
If you are a bettor, select the latter option.
The idea of paid parking in GMF has always become the talk of the city, with locals and traders wondering if the plan’s promoters should go out on a local hike to clear their heads; or whether the proposal has a good chance of becoming a viable, win-win deal, allowing the government to raise much needed revenue for projects such as road improvements. And maybe it could help turn the GMF into a thriving tourist hub, according to the plan’s promoters.
City leaders have delayed action for two back-to-back meetings, and based on the latest list of concerns, it doesn’t look like a final decision will come overnight, almost similar to the fate regarding camping rules at Woodland Park.
To the surprise of some political insiders, elected directors did not finalize a deal with the Interstate Parking Company of Colorado on May 18 as expected, with a decision postponed for several weeks. This company offers paid parking programs for Breckenridge, Keystone, Idaho Springs and many communities in Colorado.
The latest parking hearing featured another heated discussion, with a wave of concerns about the details of the program.
Some of the issues that need to be addressed relate to signage, the area’s limited telephone coverage, parking specific IT technology and infrastructure, and contract language. More dialogue is expected between city officials and key community leaders and some landowners. Questions have persisted over a way out of the two-year contract if the plan does not work or if concerns are raised by residents and business operators.
Interstate Parking officials say they will work with the community and ask residents to give the plan a chance. They would install nearly $ 200,000 in parking infrastructure, such as kiosks, state-of-the-art equipment and the use of parking ambassadors. None of these expenses will cost the city money.
Despite some concerns about the details, most elected trustees support the idea of a managed parking system, especially on weekends. Administrator Chris Quinn, however, opposes the program, citing that it is the wrong way to deal with the city’s current dilemma.
The plan would mark a big change in character for GMF, and it received a favorable verdict from business operators and many residents. Virtually all of the comments released at the public meetings objected to the program.
Already, The Pantry restaurant has reignited the opposition movement, with a fabricated parking ticket placed on the restaurant’s wall and a miniature counter, as part of a mock display. If you’re spending time at The Pantry restaurant, chances are you can’t avoid a conversation about the city’s paid parking plan.
Pantry owner Ben Stephens says the plan will cripple the business, a staple GMF tradition for decades. “We are a town with a few restaurants and dirt trails. It’s ridiculous, ”Stephens said.
But on the other side of the coin, leaders say the city needs to better control its crowd situation and deal with a growing influx of backpackers. GMF has become a destination for hiking and trails discovered by outdoor enthusiasts in the region. “The cat is out of the bag,” Mayor Jane Newberry said several times during this debate. She called the program not paid parking, but a managed parking system.
The closure of the Waldo Canyon area due to a devastating wildfire, coupled with more restrictions for the Manitou slope and the addition of more local trails and additional subsidies, has drawn more hikers to town .
Elected officials also said the addition this summer of the new James Turrell Skyspace attraction would put additional pressure on parking access.
The program would theoretically have no impact on local residents, as they will not be charged any fees. Parking will also be free for the first two hours for visitors.
But some concerns have developed about how the current program will be implemented. In addition, some critics question whether the city really has a parking problem and cite more concerns that hikers don’t know where to go, when they are entering town, and the need for more road signs and signs. trail maps. Others advocated putting the question on the ballot for a vote.
It is still unclear when a decision will be made, but the main test, if the plan passes, will be the implementation of the program. This year could mark a pilot effort, if a contract between GMF and Interstate Parking is finalized.