Wolcott bar’s popularity snarls traffic, parking | VailDaily.com

Wolcott bar’s popularity snarls traffic, parking

Tamara Miller

WOLCOTT – You can have too much of a good thing. The hordes of cars that park along U.S. Highway 6 in Wolcott on Friday nights mean good business for the Wolcott Yacht Club. But concerns for human safety prompted the Eagle County commissioners this week to take the bar’s owner to task for not providing enough parking.Commissioners unanimously approved the establishment’s liquor license renewal application Tuesday, but Commissioner Michael Gallagher would like to see some changes.”I have no problem with the liquor license application,” he said. “My concern is the safety of customers who are walking down Highway 6.”The problem isn’t necessarily a lack of parking, according to owner Jan Jouflas. She said overflow parking is directed to a nearby field owned by her father. On Fridays, there are usually four people directing patrons to appropriate parking spaces – either in the lot or on the south side of the highway, which has more room for cars to pull off to the side. But for some reason, she said, patrons are still parking on the highway , and in front of “no parking” signs, no less.”If it looks like a big field and not a parking lot, people probably don’t want to use it,” Gallagher said. Jouflas said she plans to create a permanent parking lot in the next year for her business and has obtained a permit from the state Department of Transportation to create a parking lot access off the highway.Despite Gallagher’s concerns, there were two members of the public who spoke in support of the establishment’s current parking plan. Ann-Marie Finn, an Edwards resident, said she feels safer parking on the highway and walking to the Yacht Club than she does parking in West Vail and crossing roads to get to the base of Vail Mountain at the peak of ski season.Michael Cacioppo agreed. He suggested the speed limit on Highway 6 through this portion of Wolcott be reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph.Staff writer Tamara Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607, or tmiller@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado

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