Avon to revisit parking management plan for town core | VailDaily.com

Avon to revisit parking management plan for town core

Council will discuss whether or not it will bring varying levels of paid parking and increased enforcement in Avon

With rising parking challenges during Avon’s peak winter and summer seasons, the Town Council has been contemplating a parking management plan that could bring varying levels of paid parking or increased enforcement to the town core.

On Tuesday, the Avon Town Council will revisit a parking management plan that it first saw and discussed in November 2021.

In November, the need for some type of plan in the town core was identified as a solution to four main challenges:

  • A low turnover of spaces due to employees and skiers
  • Rec center parking spaces for patrons being monopolized by employees, skiers and special events attendees
  • A lack of parking for Nottingham Park patrons
  • A lack of spaces for overnight and oversized vehicles in town

A report in the March 22 Town Council packet emphasized two of these challenges that were experienced this winter. The report said that parking availability in the town core has “been impacted by overflow from Beaver Creek Resort on several busy weekends,” and that there was “increased illegal parking at the Avon Recreation Center, which has impacted their operations.”

Council was split on what direction to go with parking management back in November. Some councilors saw a need for widespread paid parking across the town core, while others saw the need for limited paid parking in certain highly-trafficked areas such as Benchmark Road. There was also an expressed desire from some to look for other solutions such as increasing enforcement before going to a full-blown paid parking model.

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In the update provided in the March report, town staff outlines three town core parking management options. The first is that free public parking, with no limit on hours but no overnight parking, would be allowed throughout town. The second would be to implement a 3-hour free parking limit between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. with all-day free parking available in the future parking lot at the Old Town Hall site.

A map highlighting the proposed areas for paid parking along Avon’s skier shuttle route. This is one option Town Council will consider on March 22.
Courtesy Photo

The third option would be to introduce year-round paid parking for spaces on the skier shuttle route. This includes approximately 100 spots along West Benchmark Road, Lake Street and West Beavercreek Boulevard. The option proposes that parking would start at $2 an hour after the first three hours and that the Old Town Hall site remain free all-day for employees. The packet estimates that this could generate around $40,000 a year, with the assumption that it generates $3 per-day, per-parking space for nearly 60 days per year.

In the event that this paid parking program is initiated, the report also proposes potential skier overflow parking when the Beaver Creek Elk and Bear lots fill. The overflow parking would be located on West Beaver Creek Boulevard and have a fee of $10 to $20 in order to offset the cost of providing a skier shuttle to the site. Last summer, the town eliminated parking along this stretch of road citing safety and trespassing concerns from residents.

While the Avon Council members will discuss these different options at the Tuesday Town Council meeting, Town Manager Eric Heil expressed support for this third option in his recommendation in the packet.

“I recommend that paid parking in this area is appropriate for consideration and is an appropriate place to start with paid parking,” Heil wrote, referring to the areas on the skier shuttle route. “I recommend the Old Town Hall parking area remain as free parking which can work well for employees who desire to park for the entire day.”

As skier parking at the Avon Rec Center has been a growing problem in the town, the report also discusses further options to manage that parking asset. The lot has 136 parking spaces, which is “sufficient for patrons and town vehicles,” the report says. The report recommends that violation fees increase for the Rec Center to a $50 to $100 fine, and improve signage that the lot is for patrons only.

“The Recreation Center parking area will need better signage (i.e., NO SKIER PARKING!!! YOU WILL BE TICKETED!!) and active parking enforcement,” Heil wrote in his recommendation. “I believe it is important to be conscious of a positive visitor experience and I do not support funding parking management with high parking tickets (e.g., $50+) with the exception of the Recreation Center.”

Currently, parking tickets in the town core are $35, and $25 outside of the core. According to the packet, only 500 citations have been given out since 2019 and has been “driven by complaints.”

In order to implement some sort of parking management plan, Avon would need additional personnel and resources to make it happen. The report contemplates the need and cost for two parking enforcement officers; an electric vehicle, license plate reader as well as parking management software and equipment; and additional enforcement personnel depending on the selected option.

“No matter what we do, I expect we will need to adjust as we experience changes in parking behavior and as parking demands fluctuate,” Heil wrote in his report.

The Avon Town Council is scheduled to discuss the parking management plan at its Tuesday, March 22 meeting at 5:15 p.m. The meeting will take place both in person at Avon Town Hall and online via Zoom. Register at Avon.org to attend virtually.

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