Steamboat City Council weighs in on proposal to reduce parking spaces on 11th Street
March 15, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The city of Steamboat Springs will not move forward with a plan to sacrifice several parking spaces on 11th Street downtown to make room for new bike lanes and a dedicated left turn lane.
Instead, the City Council has asked city staff to go back to the drawing board and gather more public input to come up with a new plan for the street.
City council members passed on the bike lane option Tuesday night after several business owners and community members spoke in favor of saving the parking.
Kelly Landers, the owner of Creekside Cafe, said an elderly customer of the cafe was worried about their ability to continue going to the restaurant if the parking in the area was significantly reduced.
Council members also said they received several phone calls and emails from people who were concerned about the proposal.
"I think the public has been speaking loud and clear … parking has been an issue for a long time, and taking it away is not the right option," councilwoman Lisel Petis said.
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The plan presented to council would have reduced the number of available parking spaces on 11th Street from 65 to 39 because diagonal parking spaces would have had to be converted to parallel spaces to accommodate the bike lanes.
City staff was recommending the plan because of the importance of 11th Street as a one of the two downtown street connections that link directly to the Yampa River Core Trail.
The reconstruction of 11th Street is part of a broader project that is adding millions of dollars worth of improvements in the downtown corridor that range from new sidewalks to lighting on Yampa Street.
Plans for 11th Street also were calling for new trees and sidewalks.
Instead of going forward with the plan that included bike lanes, the council wanted the city to conduct more public outreach and come up with a new plan.
Some council members were also OK with postponing the road work for another year.
For example, Kathi Meyer noted the Western Lodge property is expected to be redeveloped someday, and that might even result in additional public parking.
Meyer and other council members suggested waiting another year could lead to a better plan for the street.