City of Steamboat Springs to introduce new style of parking on Yampa Street
July 3, 2013
Steamboat Springs — Anyone who drives on Yampa Street later this summer likely will do a double take when they first see the new type of parking spaces the city of Steamboat Springs is adding there.
To further improve pedestrian safety on the roadway, the city plans to replace several parallel parking spots on the northwest end of the road with the city’s first reverse angle spaces that are starting to become popular in metropolitan areas far from Steamboat.
They require that a driver slowly pass the space, stop, signal and reverse into the angled parking space.
Public Safety Director Joel Rae said the new spaces will eliminate the blind spots drivers face where they currently park parallel on the street that sees several bikes mingle with traffic and delivery trucks.
It also is estimated that the change from parallel spaces to the reverse ones across the street from the city’s parking lot near Yampa Valley Electric Association and near Yampa’s intersection with Ninth Street will create 21 more spaces than there now are in the area.
In the new system, drivers will be able to pull out with a clear view of the biking and pedestrian lane in front of them.
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"Probably our biggest challenge will be public education on this," Public Works Director Chuck Anderson said Tuesday night as he briefed the Steamboat Springs City Council on the changes.
He said the proposal received strong support recently when it was pitched to Mainstreet Steamboat Springs’ board of directors.
How did the City Council react?
Reviews mostly were positive, but Kenny Reisman did have a concern that his own car, which is adorned with four bikes on the back, may be trickier to fit in the new style of spaces.
In bike and pedestrian-heavy cities like Austin, Texas, the new spaces are becoming more popular.
Early studies show they have reduced crashes.
Here in Steamboat, Anderson said the city plans to launch a social media campaign to educate the public on how the new system works.
He said the first spaces will be installed near the intersection with Ninth Street after the city receives the instructional signage for them in an estimated two to three weeks.
The others will be installed after a paving project in August.
The new spaces follow other efforts on Yampa Street to improve pedestrian safety that include better marked pedestrian crossings and the new 15 mph speed limit.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com