Chris Ricks: Parking problems
June 6, 2014
From the June 4 Steamboat Today the headline reads, "Council to vote on parking." A second headline reads, "Casey's Pond parking an issue."
Those articles contain several quotes and references that are a bit disturbing in light of the past and future impacts of decisions being made by our elected/appointed officials.
The Steamboat Springs City Council is about to initiate a $54,000 parking study, but the council members are going to decide at their June 17 meeting whether to eliminate 33 spaces along Yampa Street. "I don't see what we are going to get with this study" one council member said.
The city manager thinks the study is necessary because "we have no real expertise in town. I want to bring you a comprehensive solution."
Heightening the level of frustration is the commentary presented in the Casey's Pond article. The parking problems for Casey's Pond (and the immediate neighborhood) came about even after a city-mandated parking study and an extensive approval process involving building, planning and council reviews.
"Not having approved that type of facility before, the city relied on the parking study," the article states. "I don't think they deliberately designed themselves into this situation," Planning Director Tyler Gibbs said.
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A design that he and/or his department approved. A design that, from the numbers presented in the article, was glaringly inappropriate from any viewpoint.
The planning director and city officials must exercise greater skill sets before diving headlong into another series of shortsighted attempts to facilitate our apparent parking problems.
The city officials must take a deep breath, review the multitude of past parking studies, recognize their failures in projects like Casey's Pond and move forward with their current agenda only after significant due diligence has been met.