Vail makes CDOT an offer
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL – The Vail Town Council wants to add as many as 200 more parking spaces in town in the near future – a feat the town hopes to accomplish soon along with taking over ownership of portions of South Frontage Road.
The town of Vail wants to take over the section of South Frontage Road from the town’s Public Works facility to the east to the West Vail roundabout to the west. The ownership could open up opportunities in the future for various parking scenarios, as well as eliminate the need for Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration approvals for Vail Resorts’ proposed Ever Vail project.
Vail Town Manager Stan Zemler sent a letter to the Colorado Department of Transportation on Thursday outlining some of the negotiations the town hopes the department will accept, which include the department’s commitment to repave the entire 11.24 miles of the frontage roads within three years and an unspecified payment to the town of Vail to help offset costs of road maintenance.
Zemler didn’t outline specific plans for frontage road parking plans in the future, but did say the deal would have to include an agreement allowing the town of Vail to continue to park on the South Frontage Road for overflow parking throughout the next two years, during negotiations.
The letter also states the town’s intended future use of the North Frontage Road for parking – that it would like the Department of Transportation to continue to allow parking on North Frontage Road from Arosa Drive to the north Main Vail roundabout in areas that “do not impede the flow of traffic.”
Public Works director Greg Hall is hoping the town will be discussing specific projects to reach the goal of 200 added spaces sometime next year, including spaces along the South Frontage Road near Ford Park.
He also points out that this coming winter is a bit of a transition year, so parking scenarios could change.
Town estimates show an immediate need for about 400 more parking spaces and a future need of as many as 1,000 spaces.
With many construction workers now leaving town after the completion of three major developments – Solaris, the Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons – there could prove to be a lesser need this year.
While the town appears to be moving toward formalizing what it’s calling a Strategic Parking Plan, Hall said parking will always be a discussion.
“There are so many conflicting goals and conflicting users,” Hall said.
The town has said parking along the frontage roads isn’t ideal and only wants it used for overflow days, at no more than 15 days in the winter and three days in the summer, in the near future. The North Frontage Road areas where parking is allowed, such as in West Vail and near Middle Creek, could potentially be eliminated in the distant future as other park-n-rides could be created downvalley.
Future parking options, however, include a scenario that would add 376 spaces to the South Frontage Road, on the portion of the road that the town intends to take over from the state.
The town also stated in early September that organized, structured or consolidated parking solutions are preferred. Parking along the South Frontage Road near Ford Park includes these organized and consolidated options, with angled parking, parallel parking and two new roundabouts as potential projects.
The town expects the Colorado Department of Transportation to be satisfied with its latest parking plans, since the plans address how the town will deal with frontage road parking in the future, according to a Sept. 21 memo from Zemler and Hall to the Town Council.
Negotiations over the town’s expectations from the Colorado Department of Transportation in exchange for the town’s proposed ownership over the South Frontage Road could take a while, Hall said.
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or