Policy: Parking

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What’s going to happen in a few years when That Eighties Band comes to the redesigned Coal Creek Park to play for thousands of people? What about when the Moffat Street Expansion is complete?

As Erie grows to the point where parking becomes an issue, I’ll want the Town to work with the residents who feel the traffic crunch, local experts, and looking at the examples of neighboring communities like Lafayette, Longmont, and Louisville. Some ideas:

  • Ensuring maximum walkability and ridability into Old Town and Coal Creek Park. That would include a comprehensive education program to encourage alternate modes of transportation such as bicycling for those that are willing and able.
  • A shuttle transport system from outlying areas to Old Town for large events.
  • Permit/reserved parking for residents near Coal Creek Park to ensure they can park near their own homes.

5,000 People at Coal Creek Park???

The Town map of Coal Creek Park lists a capacity of 5,000 people, as does a FestivalNet post for the 2018 Concerts in the Park series .  When I naively suggested we’d see 5,000 people at a concert one day, a resident remarked that “this would never fly; the fire department would not allow the city to approve it. Propaganda for sales pitch purposes.”

I’ll be continuing research to understand what the realistic expectations are regarding crowd size at future events, I’ll update here when I get better numbers.

Paid Parking – A Worst Case Scenario?

In a worst case scenario, would it come to credit card-enabled parking meters along Briggs and Kattell Streets with dynamic pricing for public events? I hope not, but Boulder is already there, expanding a program with paid parking and free shuttles to Chautauqua Park.

This video provides an interesting view into the history of parking with insight from Donald Shoup, a distinguished research professor of urban planning at UCLA.

In a few words, his research shows free off-street parking is a poor use of urban space, increases the cost to build for businesses, and increases traffic1)https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235359727_The_High_Cost_of_Free_Parking. His studies indicate that “cars searching for free parking contribute to over 8% of total traffic.” Shoup says properly metered on-street parking is a much better alternative to encourage the right behaviors of carpooling and alternate modes of transportation.

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