Main Street parking experiment not working
October 4, 2017
I'm not exactly sure what the city is trying to achieve with the no-parking situation on Main Street. Temporary signs, stretching from Aspen to 6th streets, have been up since before Ruggerfest, with no explanation. This no-parking restriction serves no discernible purpose. One might assume that the only reason for the no-parking signs is to inconvenience Main Street businesses and residents or possibly to create more revenue for the parking department.
Why does this restriction not impact the blocks east of Aspen Street? There is far greater lane congestion due to parking on the Mill Street to Aspen Street area than there ever has been further west. Anyone who has ever driven past the Jerome or Carl's when people are exiting their cars or waiting for a parking spot to be vacated can attest to this. One waiting car can block an active lane on Main Street, which is not the case further west where there is an ample third lane.
I fully support the bus lane from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; it allows RFTA to be the most expedient method of leaving town during rush hour. That restriction has clear reasoning and relevant impact. However, there is no reason for further restrictions on this portion of Main Street. Traffic flows well prior to and after the rush, which is well covered by the current restrictions.
If the city chooses to do an experiment regarding Main Street traffic, do it right. First, how about some communication with businesses and residents. I have surveyed Main Street, and there are no car-counters set up, so there is no empirical data being collected. As a result, any conclusion drawn will based solely on opinion with no data. Whose opinion will be used as a basis for future decisions? Considering the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on entrance studies, I would hope the city of Aspen would take a more scientific approach to such a change.