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Vail parking plan hurts the locals

Bill Hendon

This is particularly offensive when one considers that the main cause of overflow parking, namely Vail Resorts’ deeply discounted Front Range Buddy Pass, is not addressed at all in the proposed changes. Having spent 12 years in the Vail Valley, I can say with confidence that overflow parking was a rare occurrence until the advent of the Buddy Pass.

I would ask the Town Council to consider that without the hard-working local population, there would be no Vail Resorts or town of Vail. Measures clearly aimed at working class locals cause resentment and a sense of disassociation that are not conducive to offering the level of service our guests have come to expect.

I call upon the Town Council to either cancel the proposed changes, or at the very least extend the limited benefits offered to town of Vail residents to all Eagle County employees.

Town of Vail residents have the option of a free bus system to take them to work, skiing, and shopping. Those of us who have been forced down valley by astronomical real estate values should not be further punished by having to pay higher parking rates than our friends in the town of Vail.

Bill Hendon

Edwards

Middle Creek

a good idea

I’m writing this letter in support of the proposed Middle Creek employee housing development for the following reasons: meeting the need for housing for locals near the pedestrian village, meeting that need in a clustered, low-impact environmentally responsible manner, and offering an automobile-free lifestyle for those able to live and work in Vail.

An estimated 500 vehicles a day consume parking spaces daily in Vail for commuting workers alone, using up valuable finite parking that otherwise would be available to guests.

According to the Sonoran Institute report on Population, Employment, and Personal Income Trends for Eagle County, gross income outflows outpaced inflows by around $57 million in 1999 alone, an indication of employees living outside

Eagle County and commuting in daily to work. This disparity has steadily increased over the past 12 years. Not only are dollars being taken out of the local economy, but employees are being sentenced to long daily commutes just to work and have a place to call home.

Part of the environmental impact of commuting can be assessed in the following manner: According to CDOT the average daily commute for workers in Eagle County is 19 miles (or 1.6 million miles of roads driven per day). Ninety-one percent of commuters travel via single-occupancy vehicles.

Given an average gas mileage of 20 mpg, providing local housing versus commuting workers in for 256 employees each year would save roughly 93,075 man hours, 83,768 gallons of gasoline, eliminate 838 tons of CO2 emissions, or the equivalent of planting 349 acres of trees. Of course this doesn’t include cost of roads, vehicles and maintenance, impacts to wildlife, road maintenance and sanding, insurance, vehicular accidents and fatalities, law enforcement, etc.

In addition, plans for the development are to meet or exceed LEED or BuiltGreen Colorado environmental design standards, acting as a model for energy and water efficiency, sustainable site design, indoor air quality and renewable material use.

In spring of 2000, when SKI magazine rated Vail as the No. 4 resort in the country, two weak points of the survey responses reflected Vail as being (a) too “old,” and (b) too expensive. Adding an element of youth and affordability near the village would add vibrancy and a piece to the community that otherwise seems to be lacking.

The proposed Middle Creek development is beneficial with regards to the three criteria of sustainability: good for the local economy, good for the environment, and benefits community in the form of improved retention and quality of life for local employees. As a representative for the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability, I endorse the

proposed project.

Adam Palmer

Executive Director

Eagle Valley

Alliance for Sustainability


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