Vail to consider Ford Park parking changes
VAIL — A recommendation for incremental improvements to the managed summer parking program at Ford Park will be presented to the Vail Town Council during its regular evening session on Tuesday. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers with opportunities for public comment. The item is listed fifth on the meeting agenda.
With a goal to improve the overall efficiency of the Ford Park parking lot and to create equitable parking opportunities, the town staff is recommending a pilot program that would designate 47 spaces within the 198-space upper bench lot to be managed separately as reserved patron parking on special event days. The remainder of the lot would be paid public parking during peak event days. Continued use of the Frontage Road express bus on peak days is also recommended. The lot would be free on non-peak summer days. The 2015 Ford Park summer calendar currently identifies 46 peak management days.
Due to a limited supply of available close-in parking to accommodate peak days at the park, the town convenes representatives from the user groups each year to develop a recommended summer management plan. The most recent discussions have involved representatives from the town, Vail Recreation District, Vail Valley Foundation, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Bravo! Vail and Walking Mountains, operator of the Vail Nature Center.
Implementation of summer managed parking plans began in 1998 with collection of a $5 entry fee during peak event days which was increased to $10 in 2012. In 2011, the Ford Park express bus was added to increase utilization of the Vail Village and Lionshead parking structures. Most recently, management of the Ford Park lot has included a reserved parking scenario managed by the town. The recommendation for the upcoming summer is to contract with a private operator to manage the reserved patron section, known as the “nest,” which would be available to user groups for a rental fee of $500 for use from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Efforts to explore longer term solutions for implementation in 2016 also are being evaluated and include scenarios such as daily paid parking at Ford Park from Memorial Day to Labor Day; additional options for reserved parking at the Golden Peak Children’s Center and soccer field; and an enhanced bus service using an extended intown shuttle from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
To review the staff memo on this topic, visit the town’s website at vailgov.com, or to forward comments to the Town Council in advance of Tuesday’s meeting, email email@example.com.