Vail loading and delivery plan still evolving
With eight groups from the community discussing the ins and outs of potential delivery policies, maybe this is the year that Vail will come up with a way to successfully deliver goods to local shops around town. In July, the town manager appointed representatives from numerous groups impacted by the issue to meet and assess project goals, evaluate the current operations and work on options for future consideration. The groups are: Vail Town Council, represented by Rod Slifer and Farrow Hitt; retail, represented by Bill Shoff from Gorsuch and Troy Goldenburg from Troys Ski Shop; restaurants, represented by Matt Morgan from Sweet Basil and Michael Staughton from Los Amigos and Russells; residential, represented by Bill Hanlon; lodging, represented by Paul Johnston form the Christiania Lodge and Bob Fitch from the Sitzmark; vendors, represented by Bob Dubois from Orrison/Intermountain, Brad Ryan from Sysco, Jack Egger form HVH Transportation, James Cook from Shamrock Foods, Michael Hinkley from Coors and Jim Armstrong from the US Postal Service; Chambers, represented by Kaye Ferry from the Vail Chamber and a representative from the Vail Valley Partnership.The goal of the new plan is to enhance the pedestrian experience during peak guest activity periods and to honor the residential character of the neighborhood. The new policies will hopefully reduce the amount of noise and pollution in Vail Village and improve its aesthetics.The goal is also to deliver goods in a timely and efficient manner while minimizing cost increases. The new policies will also aim to create minimal impact on vendors and the merchants to whom they are delivered and also eliminate inefficiencies and any violations that have previously been associated with loading and delivery. Most important, the top priority of the policies is to be safe, efficient and cost-effective. Basically, the working group attempted to create periods in which vendors may use on-street deliveries and create an option for deliveries when on-street options are not available. While new facilities are being built, they are not complete. Consequently this year, the policies weve all been accustomed to will stay the same and loading and delivery will continue as it always has. Keeping in mind what works and doesnt work and based on the working groups recommendations, several initiatives are in the works and will be addressed, starting with the 2007-2008 ski season, including: Identification of additional loading spaces on east Gore Creek Drive, along east Meadow Drive (east and west Bridge Street), and the north and south sides of the International Bridge. Designation of small delivery trucks (UPS, Fed Ex, etc.) to specific loading zones during the restricted periods. Introduction of a new code of conduct for delivery drivers as a standard operating procedure.Distribution of loading and delivery maps to all drivers once the new plan is complete.Creation of a plan when special events necessitate changes in loading and delivery policies. Expansion of the hours of operation at Checkpoint Charlie from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.Increased enforcement of existing policies.Installation of a system that will enable the eventual use of video cameras in the village for better code enforcement. This winter, vendors will continue to serve their merchants as they always have. At the end of this ski season further discussion will be held on a more permanent loading and delivery policy. For now, the working group will reconvene on an as-needed basis.Lourdes Ferzacca is president of the Vail Chamber & Business Association Board of Directors.