Yampa Street is busy with cars, bikes and other commuters Wednesday. Bike lanes will be added to the street in the next couple of weeks as part of a planned streetscape project.

Photo by John F. Russell

Yampa Street is busy with cars, bikes and other commuters Wednesday. Bike lanes will be added to the street in the next couple of weeks as part of a planned streetscape project.

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs manager seeks Yampa Street focus

Tracy Barnett asks Steamboat City Council to plan ahead for downtown improvements


— With the project to repave Lincoln Avenue complete, Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said she thinks the city should turn its attention to redeveloping Yampa Street as an entertainment district.

During an update about the organization that promotes downtown, Barnett told the Steamboat Springs City Council that in spite of a lack of funds, planning should begin immediately to continue development that already has taken place on Yampa Street.

“I don’t think this is going to go forward really quickly, but we need to get the community to buy in to what we’re doing down there,” she said.

Barnett said the community needed to define a vision for Yampa, whether it was a pedestrian-only entertainment district on weekends or something else. She said Tuesday that a good place to start would be the streetscape design guidelines the city paid Britina Design Group $439,000 in May 2007 to create.

Parts of the Lincoln Avenue project, including sidewalk bump-outs and bus shelters, were recommended in the guidelines, city Public Works Director Philo Shelton said.

Shelton said some of the major improvements on Yampa Street suggested in the design guidelines, such as repaving the street and adding sidewalks, curbs and gutters, were years away. But he said the city already is working on some improvements to Yampa.

In the next couple of weeks, Shelton said, bike lanes will be added to Yampa. And he said the city had budgeted this year to design the project to move utility lines under the street. He said the next project would be improving the drainage under the street.

Shelton said because the pavement on Yampa Street has deteriorated, it is appropriate to start with the infrastructure projects.

“It needs attention whether you have the streetscape or not,” he said. “It’s a good time to enter these discussions to do these improvements.”

Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said it was a good time to bring stakeholders together to begin the Yampa Street redevelopment planning, starting with minor improvements next year and larger projects in the future.

Projects could be funded through a business improvement district, a property tax increase that would help pay for them. But Barnett acknowledged it might not be the right time for that.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com


1999 5 years, 9 months ago

I think that is a great plan!!!

time for a parking structure people!!!


housepoor 5 years, 9 months ago

What about the noise ordinance? Do they want it to be an ENTERTAINMENT district or a residential neighborhood?


stmbtski 5 years, 9 months ago

I live on Yampa St. and love living there. Pedestrians spill into the street because there are few sections of sidewalks. Bike lanes might help, but the focus should be on making Yampa St. easier to stroll down. A unified steetscape including lighting and sidewalks would make it a nicer street. Right now it has a hodgepodge, quirky character. Mainstreet might want to play up the quirky character and make an "arts district" in addition to an entertainment district. I think art galleries, murals, outdoor sculptures, and a place in Little Toots park for music would be great!


Brian Smith 5 years, 9 months ago

I don't think 60dB max will work well for an Arts and Entertainment district, unless they want everyone to go home at 11PM. Pretty excited though to see how Yampa turns out, I already love it.


exduffer 5 years, 9 months ago

Maybe we could go with a French theme. Just have a bunch of mimes entertaining the crowd.


Scott Wedel 5 years, 9 months ago

Appears to me that the one section of Yampa on the river side in front of Sweetwater Grill which has a sidewalk is where the street is the narrowest and no longer has room for a bike lane.


Steve Lewis 5 years, 9 months ago

Tracy Barnett and Jim Cook, Yampa Street does need improvements. But Yamapa St. property owners should form their own BID, or business improvement (new taxes) district.

The previous BID attempt for Oak, Lincoln, and Yampa would have unfairly taken from the office uses on Oak to create retail traffic benefit to the other streets. There was no plan in that BID for equity of benefits to the contributors. Please do not try that again.


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