Businesses weigh in on paid parking | AspenTimes.com

Businesses weigh in on paid parking

Charles Agar
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Is paid parking good for business in Aspen?

Aspen Chamber Resort Association officials sent an e-mail survey to 520 of the organization’s 813 members Monday to find out.

“We’re asking our business members to comment or weigh in on the ordinance amendments for parking,” said ACRA president Debbie Braun, reacting to recent Aspen City Council debate over increased fees and expanding paid parking into residential areas.

Braun received 150 responses on the first day of the questionnaire, she said, adding, “It’s obviously a topic that is getting a lot of people talking.”

While paid parking might not affect some lodge owners who have special parking passes for guests, day visitors to Aspen could get the message that Aspen is exclusive and “not welcoming,” Braun said.

At the same time, Braun said paid parking could encourage more employees to ride the bus and decrease traffic downtown.

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The questionnaire asks whether business owners believe increased fees for current paid parking or expanding the area of paid parking will affect their business, and there is a window under each question where members can type additional comments.

“We tried to make a lot of open-ended questions,” Braun said, giving members a chance to express themselves.

Braun hopes to hear back from more local business owners in coming days and said ACRA officials will present the survey results Oct. 1 during public comment at the Aspen City Council meeting.

Braun said surveying members and presenting results to City Council is nothing new.

“That’s a role we have been actively engaged in for about two years now,” Braun said.

“We have a brand-new council before us, and I think from a business perspective to a new council, we are learning about each other,” Braun said. “We’re trying to find some common ground.”

And that common ground, Braun said, is housing, work force issues and transportation.

“I respect that our organization might have differing views,” Braun stressed, adding that she feels the council listens to ACRA feedback and only hopes for continued “synergy” on common issues.

“That’s part of my mission,” Braun said.

Charles Agar’s e-mail address is cagar@aspentimes.com

1. Do you believe expanded paid parking will decrease traffic congestion?

2. Do you believe EXPANDED paid parking will be a benefit to your business?

3. Do you believe expanded paid parking will benefit our guests?

4. Do you believe an INCREASE in parking fees will be a benefit to your business?

5. Do YOU drive to work, or use alternative transportation?

6. Do your EMPLOYEES drive to work, or use alternative transportation?

7. Will YOU be more likely to use alternative transportation if the parking changes are adopted?

8. Will your EMPLOYEES more likely use alternative transportation if the parking changes are adopted?

9. Do you provide ACRA discounted RFTA passes to your employees?

10. Might you provide ACRA discounted RFTA passes or Parking Garage passes to your employees if the parking changes are adopted?

11. Might you provide RFTA passes or Parking Garage passes to your employees if the parking changes are NOT adopted?

12. Do you let your employees know that it is not okay to park all day in front of your business?

13. If you live in one of the neighborhoods that paid parking will be expanded to, will this benefit you?

14. Do you believe this issue should be studied more?

15. What are your suggestions to alleviate the traffic and parking congestion?

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