Published by The Gazette | October 16 2012 | Written by Rich Laden
The time limits on an additional 100 parking meters in downtown’s core — an area bounded by Cascade, Nevada and Colorado avenues and Boulder Street — have been extended to allow for a maximum of two hours of parking, an increase from 30 minutes or one hour. The changes took effect Tuesday.
There are about 640 meters in the area, and four out of every five already allowed up to two hours of parking, said Nick Kittle, the city’s administrative services and innovation manager.
By extending the time at 100 additional meters, two-hour parking will be in place in 96 percent of meters in downtown’s core. Parking at 27 meters will remain at one hour or less; some businesses that have customers coming and going throughout the day — including banks, convenience stores and the U.S. Post Office — wanted to preserve shorter meter times.
The change in meter times follows a pledge by Mayor Steve Bach at last week’s Downtown Partnership breakfast, during which he said he wanted meters with longer times.
“The opportunity is there to encourage people to come to our downtown and spend a little longer in our downtown, visiting the businesses, visiting our restaurants,” Kittle said. “We want to encourage as many citizens as possible to come and enjoy that without having to worry about necessarily going back and plugging a meter.”
Other changes are in store for downtown parking, Kittle said.
The Parking System Enterprise — a city-run business that operates the city’s parking meters, garages and surface lots and is funded by parking revenues — plans to install meters that accept credit cards.
Also, by the end of October, a new wrinkle will be introduced: A pair of downtown meters will be selected at random each day and adjusted to allow for free parking that day, Kittle said.
Parking rates remain unchanged — $1 an hour in downtown’s core and 75 cents an hour in Old Colorado City, Kittle said.