Parking could be issue at Glenwood whitewater event
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The U.S. Freestyle Kayak Team Trials could cause a real logjam this weekend.
Glenwood Springs will find out what it’s like to hold a national event when the top paddlers and spectators from around the nation, and their vehicles, descend upon the Glenwood Whitewater Park.
According to event organizer Davis Farrar, Glenwood Whitewater Events president, the biggest issue is going to be with parking accommodations for the 2,000 to 3,000 anticipated spectators.
Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson agreed parking could be a problem, in part because of the seventh annual Yagatta Regatta and the 2009 Whitewater Stand Up Paddling Championships also being held this weekend, at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood.
“We are not real clear on crowd volume right now,” he said. “The location doesn’t allow itself to provide for a large amount of people.”
Police expect to struggle with parking all weekend.
“We will have to deal with it the best we can,” he said.
There will be no on-site parking at the event. Parking will be at Two Rivers Park, down Devereux Road from the venue. The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority will provide shuttle service from Two Rivers Park to the kayak venue every 15 minutes. Shuttles will also pick up spectators at the West Glenwood Mall bus stop for people who take the bus into Glenwood or park somewhere other than Two Rivers Park.
Wilson suggested people not try to find a parking spot near the whitewater park.
“Use those alternatives; they are there for that reason,” he said.
Police aren’t going to be very lenient with towing illegally parked cars either.
“We aren’t going to go hunting for people,” Wilson said. “We will just yank their cars.”
Farrar said that other means of transportation to the event for locals should be utilized.
“We are encouraging people to ride bikes and non-motorized transit options to get there,” he said, because of the limited parking.
Parking along Devereux Road and Midland Avenue will be prohibited. According to Wilson, “No Parking” signs have been installed along the shoulder of Midland Avenue to prevent spectators from parking along the street. Police will have more officers on duty this weekend to patrol the area, according to Wilson, in part because the Yagatta Regatta will be held in conjunction with the Team Trials, making for even more auto and pedestrian traffic.
“We are taking this very seriously,” he said. “If the towing companies need to make some extra money, we won’t hesitate or delay when [parking] creates a safety or transportation issue.”
Parking has been an issue at the whitewater venue since it opened in spring 2008. Wilson said that the police have been contacted by area businesses, like Aspen Valley Harley-Davidson, regarding whitewater park users parking in the business’ parking lot.
Farrar said that the business has been very patient and supportive of the event, but spectators and competitors alike should respect the property and not park at other neighboring businesses.
“They are strong supporters of the event, and we ask that people respect their property,” Farrar said.