Basalt addresses parking woes
BASALT A committee in Basalt wants the town to solve its parking shortage by placing time restrictions on more spaces downtown and forcing commuters to use special lots outside the core.The committee of citizens, merchants and town government representatives asked for a two-hour time limit on about 90 additional spaces to free up parking for business patrons. Currently only a few spaces on Midland Avenue – right in front of stores and restaurants – have limits. No paid parking exists in Basalt, and none is being sought.The committee was convened after business owners complained about the lack of available parking near downtown. Midland Avenue, the town’s main drag, is often filled to capacity on summer days and occasionally in the winter. Merchants fear they are losing business.According to a memo to the Basalt Town Council, the parking committee advised that two-hour limits be placed on: 31 spaces on Midland Avenue from the Green Drake Inn past St. Vincent Catholic Church. 21 spaces on Midland Spur in front of the Basalt library. five spaces on Midland Spur in front of Saxy’s coffee shop. 33 spaces on Two Rivers Road across from the Wienerstube Restaurant.The committee also called for more vigorous enforcement of the two-hour limit by the Basalt Police Department. The Town Council will consider the recommendations Tuesday (tonight). The parking committee hopes to see the changes in place by June 18.Part of Basalt’s problem is the result of commuters who drive into town, find parking spaces with no time restrictions and leave their vehicles all day. Commuters fill many of the spots on Midland Spur and Two Rivers Road, on both sides of the library. Spaces are also gobbled by employees of Basalt businesses who park all day on the downtown fringe.The biggest “fix” the committee proposed was providing 80 spaces for commuters and Basalt employees along Midland Addition, on vacant land the town owns. The town has agreed to sell that spot, between the post office and skateboard park, to the library district for a new facility. Construction won’t start until next year, so a parking lot there could be a temporary solution. The parking committee wants the town to investigate a municipal parking garage as a long-term solution.The Town Council is scheduled to discuss the parking committee’s recommendations at 6:25 p.m.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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No official vote has taken place, but the Dillon Town Council has decided to push forward with an ordinance at a future meeting despite a contentious debate that clearly divided council members on the issue.