Parking enforcement out of control
September 28, 2009
After five years as a full-time resident in Aspen, I have found that one of Aspen’s greatest attributes is our numerous youth sporting programs for kids, ranging from football to hockey, lacrosse, soccer, baseball, etc. Not only do the children benefit, but the parents are perhaps more involved and attend more events than anywhere in the country. Herein lies the problem.
For many of these events, because they are so heavily attended, particularly hockey and soccer at the ARC, and football at our wonderful new high school field, there is simply not enough parking. I visited my friend’s son’s soccer game at the ARC on Thursday, fortunately by bike, and found the parking lot completely full and the overflow was parked carefully on the street just outside. To my dismay, I witnessed two of our finest Aspen parking enforcement officers literally racing from car to car placing parking tickets on windshields. Give me a break. These are typically parents with young children racing to the game who have no choice but to park on the street.
The very next night I attended our Homecoming football game against Basalt. The place was packed. Many of us, including our friends and guests from Basalt, had to park illegally. And again, there were the parking enforcement officers handing out tickets. Is this the image we want here in Aspen with our visiting guests (not to mention the locals)? Is the city so desperate for revenue that we have to ruin people’s days by handing out tickets because we simply don’t have enough parking? (And every one of us knows that awful feeling of seeing a parking ticket on your windshield!)
I hope everyone will join me in encouraging the city to ease up on the ticketing when these events occur. It is unnecessary and unfair!!
One final point: Please bring back the 200-hour parking meters that the locals used to keep in our cars for visits to town. Many of us find parking in town so stressful now because it is a complete pain and inconvenience to get out of your car, find a meter, try to guess how long your stay will last, etc. All the locals know exactly what I am talking about! I promise you, it is hurting local business because it makes visiting town too difficult and as a result we tend to avoid the “quick visit.” Please bring back the meters.
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OK, I’m done ranting and raving. Thank you.