Vail eyes costly parking fixes |

Vail eyes costly parking fixes

Lauren Glendenning
Vail CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – The town of Vail is struggling to find ways to solve its parking problems and left a Tuesday night meeting without any specific plans for how to move forward.

Greg Hall, the town’s public works manager, presented more parking options to the Town Council on Tuesday – none of which had any of the members jumping for joy.

The options, which include a Ford Park facelift to add surface parking, a Lionshead parking structure remodel and West Vail frontage-road parking spaces, each presented a host of problems that don’t seem to solve the town’s long-term parking goals of adding more spaces that get people to walk through town retail centers or eliminating parking along the frontage roads.

The town needs about 400 new parking spaces to meet its immediate needs and keep cars off South Frontage Road. The fixes presented are costly and don’t offer much relief to the frontage roads in the near future if at all.

Council members Kevin Foley and Kim Newbury said the upcoming transition year, as put by Hall, could prove that parking problems in town aren’t as bad as they seem.

Foley said he doesn’t want to spend $10 million to $12 million now when in a year it might be that new projects such as Solaris, combined with the elimination of the construction workers in town taking up so many parking spaces, could fix the problem.

The council agreed that Vail Resorts needs to be a part of the discussions because the town’s parking problems are almost entirely related to skier parking.

Mayor Dick Cleveland said the town might have a chance of reaching its long-term goal of no parking on the frontage roads if Vail Resorts steps in and builds 1,000 spaces – the magic number needed to solve long-term parking problems.

Town staff will continue to work on details related to parking options at Ford Park, Lionshead and the frontage roads, with Town Manager Stan Zemler saying a meeting that deals only with frontage-road parking options would be scheduled soon.

“We’re getting mixed messages about the frontage road,” Zemler said.

The town’s Community Survey results showed that parking is the top priority among town residents in terms of town issues that need the most attention.

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