Art museum will impact downtown parking
The Aspen Art Museum can construct any style of building it likes, as long as it complies with all regulations; however, it has no right to ignore the impacts on the community. The proposed AAM building will create parking needs for 29 employees, along with the increased visitation the museum itself predicts.
Aspen’s development department has stated that the museum, as a nonprofit, is not responsible for providing parking. Compounding the problem, the city has proposed removing parking along the street, front and side. Employees and visitors will thus be competing for parking on streets whose crush is already intolerable during peak season. This double whammy will impact downtown businesses as well as nearby residential units.
A related problem is the loading dock for 18-wheelers delivering the art. Trucks of that size cannot possibly jack-knife into the proposed recessed loading area from an alley only 20 feet wide. Where will they park to unload? There are two alternatives: in the alley, removing it from public use, or double-parking in the street, creating a hazard.
It is ironic that one of the museum’s stated reasons for moving is that they lack sufficient parking in their present location. Since the museum has simply passed its responsibility to the community, it is essential that the city address the impacts of parking and more congestion before the project moves forward.
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