Lincoln Avenue makeover

City hopes to redesign downtown with more trees, upgrades



Jon Lupo, left, and Ken Archibald stroll down Lincoln Avenue on Friday afternoon.

Speaking of trees

The National Arbor Day Foundation has named Steamboat Springs a "Tree City USA" community for the 16th year. The four criteria for a community to achieve Tree City recognition are having a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program and an Arbor Day observance.

"Tree City USA designation recognizes the work of elected officials, staff and citizens who plant and care for the community forest," Arbor Day Foundation President John Rosenow said.

The city will celebrate the recognition at its annual Green-Up/Clean-Up Day on June 2.

— The future of Lincoln Avenue through downtown Steamboat Springs is shady.

City officials want consultants to design Lincoln Avenue improvements such as increased trees, improved curbs and sidewalks, and better benches, bus stops and bike racks. The plans also could suggest locations for a future downtown parking garage and the removal of parking spaces on one side of the street to widen Lincoln Avenue.

Jim Weber, the city's director of public works, said he is reviewing eight responses to the city's request and hopes to begin interviews for the multi-year project in coming weeks.

The proposed design improvements would cover an area that stretches along Lincoln Avenue from east of Third Street to 13th Street, and north to south from Oak Street to Yampa Street.

Weber, city Purchasing and Risk Manager Anne Small, and Main Street Steamboat Springs are collaborating on the project, which is about more than elms and oaks.

"We are looking for a plan that presents innovative design options that are beyond the standard 'tree/streetlight' streetscape," reads a scope of work prepared by Main Street and city staff. "The plan should propose functional and aesthetic streetscape, sign, roadway and drainage elements that

facilitate traffic flow, enhance pedestrian circulation, acknowledge bicycle travel, facilitate business vitality, foster a sense of community, and accentuate the identity of the downtown district."

Weber said the city's Mountain Town Sub-Area Plan, adopted in 1999, spurred the need for downtown design improvements.

"That started off a lot of the discussions that are taking place," Weber said.

The plan identified the base of Steamboat Ski Area, the U.S. Highway 40 corridor and downtown as three distinct areas for design upgrades. The city implemented its Urban Renewal Authority at the base area in 2005 to fund public improvements that will begin this summer. The city is currently working with Denver-based consultants Clarion Associates and Civitas, Inc. to improve design standards along U.S. 40 at entryway areas into Steamboat.

Weber said the numerous construction projects slated for downtown also are driving the need for new, unified design standards. Projects totaling more than 2 million square feet are slated to break ground in the Steamboat Springs area this summer.

"We don't really have a plan to base any of these new developments on," Weber said.

"This is a lot like the base area redevelopment," Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord added about the downtown design plans.

Main Street Program Manager Tracy Barnett is also leading an effort to place an identical swath of downtown on the November ballot to create a Business Improvement District that would fund downtown operations and maintenance needs such as snow removal.

Weber said downtown design improvements will be coordinated with the Colorado Department of Transportation, which will conduct asphalt work on Lincoln Avenue in 2008 or 2009, and involve significant input from the community.

"It will be a very public process," Weber said.

Questions regarding downtown design standards should be directed to Weber at 871-8243 or

- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203 or e-mail


agentofchange 10 years, 1 month ago

This is all fine and dandy, what about Parking ??!!

This City needs a Parking Structure Bond Issue.


sickofitall 10 years, 1 month ago

Lets get the $$$$ numbers right this time folks! I think the change Ciity Council needs to make is coming back down to reality.


CHAUNCEY COOKE 10 years, 1 month ago

Downtown property is and will be more valuable so alot 70's looking structure will go by the wayside as higher and better use buildings will be substituted.This has meant more condos.Parking will be tougher,as will traffic.The downtown is so unique and beautiful careful planning is needed and architectural guideilnes must be historical and enforced.Look at cities such as downtown Bozeman as an example.The downtown is what makes Steamboat unique among all other ski towns/resorts.It is exciting to see careful planning in place to keep Steamboat growing yet beautiful.


inmate2007 10 years, 1 month ago

Agent Why would anyone vote for a city bond issue after all the examples of their estimating we have seen? Most of us realize that it must be council direction to underestimate by 75% so you can commit to the project otherwise the estimators would have been fired not give raises. Notice I didn't state that we don't need several parking structures, just a city council that will make a responsible decision instead of asking for a survey/vote.

crc Personally I think town looks better without the Harbor and Nightsrest. Picture a park on those empty spots, what a wonderful attraction to downtown. How sad is it that the only green space downtown is the Courthouse lawn, of course once we elect some fiscally aware Commissioners that might change (can anyone picture Cook rubbing his hands?). I have heard that the original vision for the county seat is much more affordable and it does make a lot of sense to separate your business district from your government (non tax generating) district.


panky 10 years, 1 month ago

What's the future of highway traffic on Route 40? Increased traffic with even more noise and dirt are going to be a part of our city's growth. Even now, it's kinda sad to see people sit and eat lunch not even 20 feet from a semi-tractor trailer's dust, fumes, and squealing brakes.

What if a clean, modern River Walk eventually becomes the pedestrian shopping/dining highlight of downtown Steamboat Springs and dirty, noisy Rt. 40/Lincoln Ave. becomes a place to avoid?

Then the city might be begging for Barnes and Noble, The Gap, etc., to fill in those "undesirable" Lincoln Ave. spots.

Just a thought.


agentofchange 10 years, 1 month ago

inmate2007; I agree about our City Governments terrible track record, however what is your solution? Oh I know... leave the parking situation just the way it is. I think not.

When a Bond is floated, there are very srtict criteria that must be followed. This is not just an issue for the City, there are others involved. Very strict !

We have a very dynamic situation right now with downtown, and you cannot expect the property owners on Oak, Pine and yes beyond, to allow the cars parked infront of their "Homes", for Lincoln Ave. ( oh, sorry I mean "MAIN ST") access.

This town-city must get down with the parking problem, otherwise, we will be in very deep doo-doo. Alternative solutions anyone... other than turning back the hands of time ? Let's get real !


inmate2007 10 years, 1 month ago

Agent you misunderstood, the city does need to fix the parking problem and that means they need to throw money at it today.

My point is with their present track record on project estimating why would anyone believe what they value the bond at? If I live in old town why do I want to pay more tax when I can walk where I want to go? If I'm on the Mountain why do I want to encourage the other business district? Why should downtown wait till November to see if they might get what they need? You only take to vote the issues that your voters will pass and the only people that would vote for this would be the county residents, they can't walk and using the bus is foolish.

I'm assuming that your talking about a property tax. If your thinking an additional sales tax I don't know what to say since Steamboat already has one of the highest sales taxes in the state. I shop in Lakewood because the sales tax is lower then Denver, amazing the difference a block makes on a thousand dollar purchase and when I buy a car I tell them I live in the county.

The alternative is simple - the city council needs to suck it up and spent the money out of the general fund. Stop trying to make the county build the parking structure, stop asking thinking the residents will go for higher taxes, stop thinking the tourist doesn't care how much tax they pay. Quit throwing money away, stop giving raises and bonus to staff that can't get an estimate close, cut council pay/privileges (the raise went over real well), act like a business and decide where and how fancy the new parking structure should be.


inmate2007 10 years, 1 month ago

BTW - This is reaching a critical moment. The city has only been discussing it for 15 years so I guess the pro active city council I've been promised is still coming.


thecondoguy1 10 years, 1 month ago

terrific discussion here, I appreiciated and enjoyed reading you folks....................


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