Municipal site will retain skier parking
September 4, 2012
VAIL, Colorado – The town of Vail is moving forward with a parking design for its new municipal site that will give the public weekend access to roughly 60 parking spaces.
The town’s current municipal building offers about the same number of weekend skier parking spaces free of charge, but Mayor Andy Daly said Tuesday the town shouldn’t make an assumption that the parking at the new building would be free.
The project, which is a partnership between the town, Vail Valley Medical Center, Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute, includes two separate buildings and parking areas. One building will house medical offices and the other building will be the town of Vail’s municipal building.
Will Hentschel, of Oz Architecture, presented the parking plan for the municipal building to the council Tuesday afternoon. New designs show 9 spaces that are open spaces on both sides of the ramp into the municipal parking garage, with the remaining spaces inside the garage. While there are about 345 spaces total for both the medical and municipal buildings, about 60 are currently being considered for public weekend use.
Council members debated the weekend parking use and whether skiers should be allowed to access an elevator that would bring them into the building’s lobby where they could then walk outside. Skiers would have to walk up the ramp – a 3.7 percent grade – to access the outdoors the way the project is currently designed, meaning the elevator would remain closed on weekends.
“I would caution to not use the lobby on weekends for this kind of purpose unless we can totally isolate it from the rest of the building,” said Councilman Ludwig Kurz.
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Councilwoman Susie Tjossem argued that making skiers walk up ramps while hauling their gear isn’t a great option, either.
Hentschel warned of more rapid wear and tear on the elevator and lobby interior should the town allow the public access on weekends.
Weekend parking at the town’s current municipal building only offers access to inside the building on Saturdays when the police window is open. Otherwise there is not 24-hour weekend access to the lobby or restrooms, Town Manager Stan Zemler said.
Daly said the town has to consider varying factors when designing the building such as, for example, the assumption that the hospital will not be making their parking available for skier parking.
“We have to anticipate that and design the building accordingly,” Daly said.
Hentschel is scheduled to present more design updates at the council’s next meeting in two weeks.
Assistant Managing Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.