Vail public works director to outline winter parking plan at Aug. 3 council meeting

No major changes from last season anticipated; public input encouraged

By Real Vail
Real AspenJuly 31, 2010

Recommendations for Vail's winter parking rates and policies will be reviewed by the Town Council at its Tuesday, Aug. 3, regular evening meeting. The parking discussion is listed fourth on the meeting agenda which begins at 6 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers at 75 S. Frontage Rd. Public comments are encouraged.

Few changes anticipated on parking front in Vail this coming ski season.

Public Works Director Greg Hall says the parking recommendations for the upcoming season reflect few changes from the prior year to allow for an assessment of the supply and demand for public parking once the remaining major redevelopment projects are completed. Openings of the Four Seasons Resort and the Ritz-Carlton Residences are anticipated during the 2010-11 winter season for a total of 13 major redeveloped properties in Vail since 2006.

While there will be fewer construction workers in Vail this winter, the new developments will add to the number of guest service jobs in Vail, according to Hall. Another change this season will be the loss of the 75-space parking area at the former Wendy's lot as a result of the West Vail fire station construction.

Among the staff recommendations to be presented Tuesday is the continued use of designated spaces on the North Frontage Road for outlying employee parking pending approval by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The 140 spaces were used on an experimental basis last season as part of the town's ongoing effort to free up spaces in the parking garages for Vail's guests. Use of the South Frontage Road would continue for free overflow parking when the Vail Village and LionsHead structures fill. There were 21 overflow parking days during the 2009-10 season.

As in the past, the recommendation includes use of 70 free parking spaces on the North Frontage Road alongside the West Vail Mall.

Other recommendations include an operational change to increase utilization of the value lots, located on the top deck of the Vail Village parking structure and on the second level-south side of the LionsHead parking structure. As proposed, the lots would be open to all users with free 30 minute parking, a 2 ½ hour shopper rate or an all day rate.

In addition, value pass holders would have access to 160 of the spaces in Vail Village and 75 spaces in LionsHead. Parking tickets would once again be issued to violators, replacing the $65 automated rate which was implemented last season and drew numerous complaints. Another change from last season would be to include Eagle County residents and property owners in the eligibility qualifications for value passes.

In reviewing parking pass rates, the Town Council will be asked to review the pricing structure of the Pink Pass, which has been used by employees of business license holders in Vail Village and LionsHead for parking at Ford Park and the soccer field lots. The price last season was $150, which is considerably less than the cost of an ECO bus pass.

Other aspects of the parking program are recommended to remain the same as last season:

• Green Pass, for employees of business license holders in Vail Village and LionsHead only, good for parking in the LionsHead structure Monday through Thursday and all outlying lots, $500.
• Blue Pass, for Vail property owners, residents and employees of business license holders in Vail Village and LionsHead, good for parking in the two structures with restrictions, $1,100.
• Silver Pass, limited to 50 each per structure and available one each to Vail Village and LionsHead business license holders on a first-come, first-served basis, with guaranteed parking availability in one structure, $1,800.
• Gold Pass, for guaranteed parking in the two structures, $3,250.

Discounted Value Cards for employees of business license holders in Vail Village and LionsHead as well as Vail residents and property owners are recommended at $12 Sunday through Thursday and a $20 charge Friday and Saturday and peak days. Eagle County residents and property owners would pay $15 during non-peak and $22 during peak according to the recommendation.

The daily rate for close-in structured parking in Vail Village and LionsHead would remain the same as last season under the proposal as follows:

• First 90 minutes free and free after 3 p.m.
• $10 for 1.5 to 2 hours
• $15 for 2 to 3 hours
• $20 for 3 to 4 hours
• $25 for 4 to 24 hours

In addition to the 70 parking spaces on the North Frontage Road in front of the West Vail Mall, plus 100 spaces west of the roundabout, other free parking areas are recommended as follows:

• Donovan Park, 120 spaces, when the pavilion is not in use
• East Vail Interchange trailhead, 15 spaces, available 7 days a week
• North Trail Trailhead, 6 spaces, available 7 days a week
• Red Sandstone Park 15 spaces, available 7 days a week
The remaining park and trailhead parking spaces in town would be designated as three-hour winter use only.

For more information on the parking recommendations, contact Hall at 479-2160.

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