Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Manitou Springs’ Pay-to-Park Program May Soon Change

A little known fact about Manitou Springs’ controversial pay-to-park enforcement program: its current hours of parking enforcement, 7am-8pm, were not the original hours as agreed upon by city council and the city’s parking authority board (PAB). The city and Standard Parking company, the business hired by the city to install and implement the existing pay-to-park and enforcement program, originally agreed the hours would be 6am-6pm.

In documents released on the city’s website of a PAB meeting held earlier this summer, a company official claimed “informal conversations” led to the change from the original hours of enforcement (6am-6pm) to the current 7am-8pm format. The same person also added that to change parking enforcement hours back to the original hours (6am-6pm) would “not necessarily be based on sound information.”

Despite at least one city councilor expressing disappointment with the unauthorized change in hours of parking enforcement, the on-season hours remained between 7am-8pm, anyway. On-season is between March 1 and November 30.

In recent weeks, business owners have taken to social media to air their concerns and complaints the enforcement program was driving tourists away from the city.

Earlier this week, a parking authority board member responded to a Facebook post that suggested someone start a “movement” to change the hours of parking enforcement. PAB board member Kari Kilroy left a comment her board would address city council and recommend going to an off-season schedule and would include the old 3-hour rule, which allowed people to park in a parking spot for up to 3 hours at a time. 

Off-season runs between December 1 and March 1.

Here are previous options for hours of off-season parking enforcement as discussed by the PAB and city council:

Option A:
  • Leave existing parking enforcement hours unchanged, 7am-8pm
Option B:
  • Downtown Area
    • 9am-6pm Monday – Friday
    • 8am-8pm Saturday - Sunday
  • Ruxton Avenue/Barr Trail Lot
    • 7am-6pm Monday - Friday
    • 7am-8pm Saturday - Sunday
Option C:
  • Downtown Area 
    • 9am-5pm Monday-Friday
  • Ruxton Avenue & Barr Trail Lot
    • 7am-5pm Monday-Friday
  • All Areas
    • 8am-7pm Saturday & Sunday

The next PAB meeting will be Friday, December 13, 2013, at 8am.

City council next meets November 19, 2013, at 7pm.