Parking still free in Aspen neighborhoods |

Parking still free in Aspen neighborhoods

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

Paul Conrad The Aspen Times

ASPEN ” Parking meters have been installed in Aspen neighborhoods near the commercial core, but that doesn’t mean motorists are required to use them ” yet.

Until February, parking in residential zones three blocks off downtown Aspen is still free all day for anyone willing to move their vehicle every two hours.

Fifteen parking meters were installed a couple of months ago and are functional to purchase $7 day passes for those who want to park all day. If not, vehicles must be moved within two hours in the residential zones ” if the driver doesn’t want a parking ticket.

The Aspen City Council passed an ordinance earlier this year that puts a two-hour limit on free parking in neighborhoods. However, it won’t go into effect until February, after ESPN’s Winter X Games and the new dedicated bus lanes on Highway 82 are fully utilized. The council also signed off on a license plate recognition (LPR) system that uses an optical scanner. The system will enable parking officers to better enforce the two-hour free rule, by which drivers will be forbidden from parking in the same residential zone for more than 120 minutes in a 24-hour period.

Each time the system reads a license plate, it is matched with a database of parked vehicles for the day and alerts the parking officer to a match if the vehicle is in violation of the two-hour limit.

The LPR system also eliminates the need for parking officers to chalk tires and the ability of a vehicle’s owner to spin their wheels or rub the chalk off their tires. Parking officers have used the chalk markings to keep track of how long a vehicle has been in one spot.