C’dale parking enforcement lax? | AspenTimes.com

C’dale parking enforcement lax?

John Stroud
Carbondale correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE ” Carbondale’s Downtown Preservation Association wants the town to enforce and even expand its two-hour parking limit downtown, for fear of lost business if people can’t find a place to park.

“The Historic Downtown Preservation Association has been noticing a decline in store traffic in direct correlation to parking availability,” DPA co-chairs Chris Chacos and Ron Robertson wrote in a July 30 letter to Town Manager Tom Baker and the Town Council.

“We feel this adversely affects the amount of sales tax revenues collected for our community, and to ignore this is unwise for the town,” they wrote.

The problem seems to be stemming from two regular offenders, the letter points out.

First is the number of construction workers working on downtown area construction projects, who are taking up some of the town’s two-hour parking spots all day long.

“The two-hour parking signs mean nothing to them,” the DPA’s letter states.

The second routine offender, “we are sorry to have to report … are some of our own business owners and their employees abusing those unenforced posted two-hour parking signs …”

Chacos and other DPA members will be at the Aug. 14 Town Council meeting to discuss the matter. But the problem, Chacos said he’s been told, is there’s no money budgeted for regular parking enforcement.

So, he’ll be asking for the town to allow downtown business owners to take matters into their own hands to advise people who are seen to be parked downtown for more than two hours at a time.

The DPA has come up with a courtesy card to place on the windshields of offending vehicles, reading: “We noted that you’ve been parking here over two hours, and we’re hoping you won’t receive a ticket … this time!

“By shopping in Carbondale your sales tax helps to fund our town’s services … parks … police … upgrading our streets … snow removal … and many other services,” it continues. “So, we are kindly asking you to please restrict your parking to two hours at a time so that others, too, may enjoy the convenience of in-and-out shopping.”

The card goes on to point out that there are three free parking areas that long-term parkers can use, including the public parking near Town Hall along Fourth and Colorado, and the parking lot next to the Centennial Building on Main, which the private owners of the Crystal Theatre lease to the town for public parking.

The DPA would also like the town to consider expanding the two-hour restriction to the street parking along Fourth Street between Main and Colorado Avenue. And some “quick-service” types of businesses would like for the town to establish some half-hour spaces.