Vail working on parking plan | VailDaily.com

Vail working on parking plan

Lauren Glendenning
lglendenning@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – The Vail Town Council won’t be using the Parking Task Force for parking policy advice – council members plan to take on the job themselves for the 2010-11 season.

The Town Council adopts parking policies every year for the upcoming winter season, however there’s slightly more urgency this year because the town needs to tell the Federal Highway Administration and Colorado Department of Transportation its long-term plans for parking by September.

The state and federal agencies want Vail to take over control of the frontage roads, and they want an answer by Sept. 30. Regardless of who runs the roads, though, the town needs to have a plan together by September that outlines how it plans to get cars off the Frontage Roads on overflow parking days.

The more immediate goal is to reduce parking along the frontage roads to 15 days per season. The council hopes to achieve that within two years.

There were 24 overflow parking days on the Frontage Roads in 2008-09, and 21 days in 2009-10. There were 48 overflow days in 2007-08.

Public Works Director Greg Hall presented the statistics from the 2009-10 season to the Town Council on Tuesday, saying parking policies were generally successful for the season.

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The town plans to hear from members of the Parking Task Force on its expertise from previous years, but will take over the parking policy planning for 2010-11 without a task force.

Parking objectives from last season included a desire to service the core markets of skiers, shoppers and employees; simplify parking; and increase safety.

Hall told the council that a few areas might need policy changes for 2010-11, including the value lots, West Vail and Middle Creek Frontage Road parking, trailhead parking and golf course parking.

The Town Council plans to talk about parking again at its next couple of meetings in order to get a winter parking plan in place by September.

Hall advised the Town Council in a memo Tuesday to not jump on making any big changes this year because the season is a transition season and some kinks might work themselves out.

He said that a reduction in construction workers and an increase in employees due to the three new projects opening – Solaris, the Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons – combined with unknowns like whether the economy bounces back and whether the snow will fall, leaves some questions about parking policies unanswered.

“Therefore, it is recommended to not make wholesale changes as we may offset many of the gains we have been able to achieve over the years,” Hall said.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at lglendenning@vaildaily.com.