Parking these days is a b …
Fresh powder, an epic ski season and parking space No. 119 atop the Village parking structure-life is good. But wait a minute, what’s this, a confrontation over the amount of room one driver left another between adjacent spaces? Naw, can’t be, not here in Happy Valley, and certainly not on a weekday. But lo and behold, my disbelieving ears just heard the “B” word. Yup, two folks, one a skier and one not, were engaged in a verbal altercation.And how did I surmise that a dispute was in progress? Perhaps it was the woman’s indignant tone when she retorted, “Don’t you dare call me a bitch.” And while many may not believe this, she actually repeated herself, appealing to the driver of the over-sized-van to refrain from referring to her in such an unkindly fashion. Oh my!The problem? A vehicle that was too big, long, wide or whatever was extended beyond the well-defined dimensions of what we’ve come to regard as a “single parking space.”Last month, Bobbi Bryson of Edwards wrote a great letter to the editor (I’m biased, go figure!) commenting that there aren’t enough value card spaces in the village structure because there appears to be an over-abundance of unused shopper parking spaces; construction parking uses an inordinate amount of spaces on the upper level; and the number of oversized vehicles (most of which are construction-related) crowd out the locals trying to use the value card spaces.Anyone who uses the upper level of the village structure knows first-hand that many of the construction vehicles are over-sized and frequently take up more than 100 percent of the width of the space extend well beyond the length of white lines outlining the space, or both.In addition, I’ve done my own decidedly non-scientific surveys when I’ve been unable to use my own value card because of the aforementioned, and I estimate that as much as a third of the value card spaces are being used by construction vehicles.The structure is first-come, first-serve, and construction workers have the same right to park there as anyone else. Nonetheless, it seems to me that there must be a way to accommodate those who purchased value cards and arrive after 9 a.m. While searching for a place to park, I’ve observed more than a few offenders who repeatedly occupy more than one parking space. Gallegos Corp., Western Fireplace, Summit Construction, S2M Construction, Frontier Fire Protection, Commercial Design, TWI, B&B Electric, and M Tech are among those that can be identified by their signage. There are others, as well.Simply writing tickets is not the answer because the need for construction vehicle parking will be with us for some time, so some other measures must be taken. I’ve spoken at length with Mike Rose, the town of Vail supervisor who Mike was kind enough to explain in some detail the issue he faces in redressing the problem: construction workers have the same rights as skiers to use public parking; snow sometimes covers the painted white lines; the domino effect when one person parks too close to the edge of his or her space, making each subsequent vehicle to park slightly to the right or left of center.Fortunately, there will be a meeting of the parking task force, which Mr. Rose advises will include Vail and Lionshead merchant representatives, Mayor Rod Slifer and perhaps another Town Council member, and a representative from Vail Resorts to address this matter at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at Public Works.Mr. Rose also told me the focus of the meeting will be whether or not the parking task force should 1) limit the size of the vehicles allowed in the structure and 2) to modify the number of shopper parking spaces allocated on the upper leveling the village. Since the meeting is open to the public, concerned parkers might want to attend and offer their solutions. In the meantime, I’m going to suggest three: n Limit the size of the vehicles that are allowed into either structure, 20 feet should be the maximum length (with a corresponding width).n Add value card parking elsewhere within both structures until the major construction is completed, or at least do so on weekdays.n Increase value card spaces by reducing the amount of shopper parking, or allow value cards to be used in a limited number of shopper parking spaces, again, especially during the week.A quarrel over a parking space is no way to begin a powder day. So I hope to see you next Tuesday.Butch Mazzuca, a local Realtor and ski instructor, writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Vail, Colorado
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