City Council pivots parking discussion away from meters, for now | SteamboatToday.com

City Council pivots parking discussion away from meters, for now

Steamboat Springs remains one of the few Western Slope resort communities that does not use parking meters downtown.

For the time being, the ever-present specter of parking meters in downtown Steamboat Springs appears to have faded in Citizens Hall, as Steamboat Springs City Council has turned instead to talking about other ways to improve the parking situation as summer approaches.

Council President Walter Magill, who last month floated the idea of testing meters in certain portions of downtown, last week suggested the city should first focus on stepping up enforcement to keep cars from overstaying their welcome.

In addition, he suggested the city should perhaps offer an incentive to employees who bike to work or park at the Stockbridge Transit Center, Howelsen Hill or other satellite parking lots.

"That could open up 54 spaces downtown in the summertime," he said. "I know a lot of employees do ride bikes, already. But maybe we could give out a credit to the ones" who park in satellite lots.

Council also weighed in on the relatively new reverse angle parking spaces that have been placed on Yampa Street.

Councilman Scott Ford and Magill suggested council consider establishing a policy stating that backing into the spaces is preferred, but pulling in forward is not a ticketable offense.

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"It’s not intuitive," Ford said of the parking spaces. "It’s really hard to retrain humanity. It’s hard. I just don’t want this to be one of those that we’re constantly just debating this."

Ford suggested the city should instead aim to have a target range of compliance in the spaces.

The city introduced the new spaces in 2013 as a way to improve pedestrian safety on the street.

The thinking is the spaces improve safety by allowing drivers to see cyclists and pedestrians as they pull out of a space instead of reversing out.

The plan also created 21 more parking spaces than existed previously on the street.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10