Letter: City should rethink fire station, city hall project
The city of Steamboat Springs should redesign or relocate the proposed downtown fire station and city office building projects for the following reasons.
The proposed development will result in a loss of 40 to 64 public parking spaces. This includes 40 spaces at the 10th and Lincoln parking lot and 24 spaces along 10th Street. This loss of parking will result in additional downtown traffic and parking problems. It will also adversely impact the adjacent residential neighborhoods with more vehicle traffic and on street parking. The project should not be approved until the same amount of parking removed by the project is replaced in the downtown business district.
Converting 10th Street into a dead end and eliminating through traffic for vehicles between Lincoln Avenue and Oak Street is of no value to the general public. The proposed civic space between the proposed fire station and existing city offices will reduce parking, require ongoing maintenance and increase vehicle traffic on already crowded adjacent streets. If there is a safety concern for pedestrians crossing between city buildings, a crosswalk and signage is a logical low cost solution.
The plan does not include construction of a sidewalk along Oak Street between the proposed fire station and 11th Street. This perpetuates the current pedestrian safety issue along Oak Street at the convoluted intersection of 11th, Oak and Pine Streets. Pedestrian safety issues will increase due to the additional vehicle traffic caused by the project.
The plan does not include pedestrian crossings on Lincoln Avenue at 10th Street. The lack of a pedestrian crossing on Lincoln is a potential safety issue with pedestrians attempting crossing Lincoln Avenue regardless if it is a legal crossing or not.
The current funding proposed for this project requires sale of the current fire station on Yampa Street. The city should not sell this valuable real estate. The city should retain ownership of this property as it will likely be needed in the future for parking or other city facilities.
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