Vail Town Council to ponder restricting trail parking
Council will consider increased penalties for violations
The Vail Town Council at its May 4 meeting will consider an ordinance that would increase the penalties for parking violations around the Booth Lake trailhead in East Vail. The action item, Ordinance No. 9, is listed as 7.2 on the virtual meeting agenda which begins at 6 p.m. There will be opportunities for public comment.
The ordinance is part of an effort to address neighborhood impacts, including speeding and parking violations, that have been caused by the trail’s popularity. A pilot program will begin June 2 in which the 18-space trailhead parking lot at the top of Booth Falls Road will be closed to all vehicles. Hikers will be redirected to use the East Vail bus to access the trailhead among other options.
The proposed ordinance establishes a Booth Lake Trailhead Parking Zone enforcement area in which penalties for parking violations would double when compared to other areas of town. The enforcement zone would include Mann’s Ranch Road, Booth Falls Road, Booth Falls Court and the 2800 to 3700 block of the North Frontage Road.
If approved, penalties for parking violations within the Booth Lake Trailhead Parking Zone would be $100 for the first offense; $200 for the second offense within one year; and $300 for subsequent similar offenses within one year. Penalties within the remainder of the town would remain at $50, $75 and $150 in the respective categories. If the changes are enacted, information about the increased fines would be added to existing no parking signs in the Booth Falls neighborhood to alert motorists of the changes.
The Booth Lake trail has experienced significant increases in use in recent years, including a 40% increase in 2020 over the previous year. In addition to addressing neighborhood impacts, the trailhead parking closure is intended to reduce crowding and degradation of the trail as part of an initiative between the town and the U.S. Forest Service.
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Trail hosts will be on site during busy times to promote Leave No Trace principles and provide other details about the pilot program while alternative hiking options will be promoted on http://www.hikevail.net. The modifications will be reviewed in early August by the Town Council to determine if the trailhead parking closure will continue in the future.
To review a staff memo on Ordinance No. 9, go to vailgov.com. To register to provide public comment during the meeting, visit vailgov.com/town-council or to provide public input prior to the meeting, email firstname.lastname@example.org.