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Sunday, May 17, 2015
Breckenridge gives the thumbs up to a parking structure on Park Ave.'s F-Lot
The parking situation in downtown Breckenridge is about to see much-needed relief. At the spring municipal retreat on May 12, the Breckenridge Town Council gave the green light to a comprehensive traffic plan, anchored by a parking structure at F-Lot in the heart of downtown. The council did not set a project date or dollar amount for the structure, but rather confirmed that it’s the best way to ease traffic woes as the town continues growing.
The plan is the result of input from a community task force that took on the town’s parking and transit issues.
“We are indebted to the task force for their commitment over the past 6-plus months,” Mayor John Warner said. “The council recognizes the parking structure will go a long way towards addressing the congestion issues and will result in a better customer experience. Our next steps are to engage the community in this process and to work with the ski area on funding options for the structure.”
Led by Breckenridge police chief Shannon Haynes, the task force is a collection of local stakeholders like business owners, lodging managers and town officials. It was formed last November for the purpose of taking a comprehensive look at Breckenridge’s parking and transit issues. At the May 12 retreat, council discussed the full slate of task force recommendations and unanimously agreed to move forward with a number of options, including solutions for employee parking.
At the top of the list is the recommendation for a parking structure on F-Lot, found along Park Avenue and Village Road. The proposed structure will add up to 500 new spaces.
Last year, the town commissioned a feasibility study that found F-Lot to be the ideal location for a permanent structure. The lot sits on a natural grade, which allows for multiple levels and the maximum number of spaces without towering over nearby buildings. The task force believes this will result in a less-obtrusive structure.
Research also indicates that visitors parking in F-Lot are 52 percent more likely to go into downtown after skiing.
From the outset, the task force’s overarching goal was to increase the availability of close-in parking for town visitors. In addition, the task force also developed options for the local workforce, such as dedicated employee parking and enhanced transit offerings.
In terms of Main Street congestion, the town also considered a no re-parking policy that, when successful, may be utilized in lieu of metered parking.
Over the next three months, the council will bring the public into the parking discussion. Town officials will host community forums to provide details, gather input on the structure design and timeline, and discuss possible funding options for all parking solutions.