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Eldo parking plan public input


Original Post
Marc H · · Longmont, CO · Joined May 2007 · Points: 255

Longmont Times Call article​​​

The public will have an opportunity this month to chime in on possible parking scenarios for Eldorado Canyon State Park as a visitor use management plan is being crafted.

In March, Colorado Parks and Wildlife asked Boulder County Parks and Open Space and the Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks to halt the planning process for the Eldorado Canyon-Walker Ranch connector trail until a visitor use management plan for Eldorado Canyon State Park is complete.

Expected by the end of 2020, the visitor use management plan will set new policies for parking and consider ways to improve visitor experience amid concerns that additional traffic brought by a connector trail will overrun the state park’s infrastructure and negatively impact its environment.

As part of the management plan process, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is set to hold two public forums so staff can gather feedback on parking scenarios and hear  community ideas. might have.
 
The first parking scenario being considered would require  all visitors to the park from Labor Day to Memorial Day obtain a parking permit for their vehicle before their arrival. 
[I'm guessing they mean Memorial Day to Labor Day, but I could be wrong]

While Windi Padia, the deputy regional manager at Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said she and her staff are still working out the details and are open to ideas from the public, as it’s currently planned visitors could either purchase a four-hour, half-day parking permit, or an eight-hour full-day permit.

The second scenario is to institute a similar permitting process, but also operate a shuttle service with several stops around town.

Though neither option will necessarily stop people from parking illegally, which many Eldorado Springs residents have complained about, Padia said it will hopefully mitigate the sharp rise in visitors, which shot up from about 260,000 people in 2016 to more than 520,000 in 2018.

With park operating budgets and staffing levels remaining unchanged, enforcing the new permit requirements, should they be enacted, will take a significant interagency effort between Boulder and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Padia said.
 
“We’re thinking of a lot of other options,” she added. “The survey will have a menu of other strategies, but there could be other things we haven’t thought about.”

In addition to reviewing the two parking scenarios, staff at both public forums will also be looking for suggestions on how Colorado Parks and Wildlife can improve Eldorado Canyon State Park’s infrastructure.

For example, the department is considering upgrading the heavily used picnic areas to include shade shelters and  additional parking. The department also is considering upgrading the restroom facilities.

Jeff Thompson, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s resource stewardship coordinator, also will be on hand to discuss the environmental resource stewardship plan the park is creating in conjunction with the visitor use management plan.

The status of the Eldorado Canyon-Walker Ranch connector trail will not be discussed, as Boulder County’s Parks and Open Space and Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks have agreed to table any discussions until the visitor use management plan is complete.

It’s on hold from our standpoint,” said Barbra Halpin, a spokeswoman for Boulder County. “I would think it would be a lengthy process.”


If you go
 What: Eldorado Canyon State Park visitor use management plan open houses
 When: 6 to 8 p.m. Monday and Sept. 17
 Where: Monday at Unity of Boulder on 2855 Folsom St., Boulder; Sept. 17 at Avalon Ballroom at 6185 Arapahoe Road, Boulder

    Open Ho​​uses 

  • Monday, September 9, 2019
    6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
    Unity of Boulder
    2855 Folsom St., Boulder, CO 80304

  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019
    6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
    Avalon Ballroom
    6185 Arapahoe Rd., Boulder CO 80303

If you can’t go: Feedback can be provided at Eldo Visitor Use Management Plan [Survey not yet available, but there is a ​link to be notified when the survey is up and running.​​​]
Dick Stone · · Boulder · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 220

Sad.

physnchips · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

If you have a park pass I’m guessing that counts as having a permit in advance?

Marc H · · Longmont, CO · Joined May 2007 · Points: 255

Monday bump for the cubicle monkeys. 

T G · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 56
physnchips wrote: If you have a park pass I’m guessing that counts as having a permit in advance?

Not according to the current proposals they're exploring. The parking permits would be above and beyond the annual park fee.

T G · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 56

To be clear, there is a public input session tonight, Monday, Sept 9th at Unity of Boulder starting at 6 PM. 2855 Folsom St, Boulder.

Climbers stand to be affected pretty significantly by the proposals CPW is currently considering. Please make your voice heard.

David Appelhans · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 410
T G wrote: To be clear, there is a public input session tonight, Monday, Sept 9th at Unity of Boulder starting at 6 PM. 2855 Folsom St, Boulder.

Climbers stand to be affected pretty significantly by the proposals CPW is currently considering. Please make your voice heard.

Do you have a suggestion on what a desired outcome would be? I'm having trouble reading between the lines of the proposal and what is good and bad as far as access to parking for climbers goes. As a climber who wants parking spots available, it seems like

1. More parking spots would be good.
2. The connecting trail would add more hikers, which I would not mind except for them taking the parking spaces.
3. Paying extra for parking--this part kinda stinks. At the same time, I'd rather have more parking spaces available than not have any but parking be free...
4. Get rid of picnic tables in favor of more parking spots. 

When I go to Eldo, I consolidate into one person's car at the dirt lot on HWY 93 and the road leading into Eldo. I hope most others would do this too--maybe the pay for parking would encourage this when both partners have a parks pass.
Nathan Sullivan · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Sep 2018 · Points: 0

Personally, I've found it easy to park if I arrive early on a weekday, and there's enough rock that I never feel crowded out of the actual climbing.  I realize it would be nice to be able to visit at other times though, and that not everyone wants to rat-race for a spot in the morning.

I wonder how the State Parks budget looks?  From what I recall, they had a cut in state funding a while back, despite the crazy growth of visitors.  I guess they are going to need to do something and most of us aren't going to like it, one way or another.

kevin murphy · · Longtuckity, CO · Joined Feb 2005 · Points: 365

Don't change anything. Ticket illegal parking, then tow. 

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,352
Nathan Sullivan wrote: Personally, I've found it easy to park if I arrive early on a weekday, and there's enough rock that I never feel crowded out of the actual climbing.  I realize it would be nice to be able to visit at other times though, and that not everyone wants to rat-race for a spot in the morning.

It is crowded at popular times specifically because a majority of "us" can't get time to go at the less crowded times.
So going when it isn't crowded isn't a solution for a majority of folks... else there would not be crowded and uncrowded times.

But regardless, thanks for not adding pressure on the resource during the only times that i *CAN* go.
(IE: Not getting my kid ready for school (7-8am) or at work (9am-6PM) on week days.)

Nathan Sullivan · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Sep 2018 · Points: 0

I hear you, Tony - I'd love to be able to arrive at reasonable times on the weekends too, even if I had to shuttle in to the actual park from Boulder.  Right now climbing in Eldo is always a vacation day from work for me.

I wonder how well the RMNP shuttle works?  I have yet to use it, but it seems like a decent solution to park... parking.

Alex R · · Golden · Joined May 2015 · Points: 28

Some thoughts:

  • Does the park have data on the average number of passengers per car? A policy that strongly encouraged high occupancy vehicles might make a difference. Say leaving half the lot as first come first serve, but only for 4+ occupants. I think the majority of climbers go as groups of two so this would come close to halving climber parking, and it isn't that unreasonable of an ask.
  • "eight-hour full-day permit" is not full day for a lot of climbers, at the very least there needs to be an option for an actual full day.
  • Any shuttle service would ideally take into account the early and late hours that people are out climbing.
  • A shuttle also needs to take into account that all the climbers will have large packs.
  • A shuttle service should definitely have the ski lot outside Eldo on 93 as a stop otherwise those coming from the South on 93 would need to drive into Boulder to get to Eldo.
  • If part of the issue is complaints from Eldorado Springs residents about illegal parking, then the park should stop allowing anyone to walk-in to the park unless they can show that they are doing it without parking illegally, i.e. proof a residency or maybe if you have a bike that would count.
T G · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 56
Alex R wrote: Some thoughts:
All good questions/comments. Please share any and all with CPW either through the linked questionnaire below, or at one of the in-person public sessions.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XSFF3XC

Note that the local constituents aren't just Springs residents, but also residents on the west part of Kneale Rd. who enter the park to access their houses.
Mark A · · Golden, CO · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 91

Did anyone go last night (I couldn't sadly)?  

Mark A · · Golden, CO · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 91
T G wrote: All good questions/comments. Please share any and all with CPW either through the linked questionnaire below, or at one of the in-person public sessions.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XSFF3XC

Note that the local constituents aren't just Springs residents, but also residents on the west part of Kneale Rd. who enter the park to access their houses.

Thanks, wrote a book, now back to work.

BatMasterson · · Red Rock,AZ · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 45

  • If part of the issue is complaints from Eldorado Springs residents about illegal parking, then the park should stop allowing anyone to walk-in to the park unless they can show that they are doing it without parking illegally, i.e. proof a residency or maybe if you have a bike that would count.

Or just tow the cars? You have to bring a piece of mail and two forms of id every time you walk into park, that's not too practical. I vote for towing the cars. 

On that subject, the park recently changed the walk in pass rule. It used to be you could walk in the same amount of people you could drive in with your car. Now every individual must have their own walk in pass. If the park management is concerned about parking spaces, how does this make sense? I can drive ten people in my gas guzzling suburban, take a parking space, and create a bunch of dust but I can't walk in with one friend if we forgot to bring cash? The only thing this rule accomplishes is incentivize driving. It's the better all-around choice (for the planet, for other users, for the park) to walk or bike. 
Lane Mathis · · Denver, CO · Joined May 2017 · Points: 16

If a park pass doesn't constitute a "parking pass" it will certainly deter me from climbing there.

If I feel that way so will others. 

David Appelhans · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 410

There is plenty of room in the park for people, just lots of competition for parking spaces.

So here is a radical idea--how about making entering the park free and charging fees based on parking spaces? Paint lots of parking space lines, open the gate, and convert the gate guard into a parking enforcement role. No need for a resident gate because there is not backup getting into the park anymore. Paying for parking will encourage people to be thoughtful about parking and consolidating into one car. There could be different rates during peak hours (like weekend pricing).

This would have the added benefit of creating secondary market for legal parking outside the park since you don't also have to pay when you enter. For example the swimming pool might be happy to rent out some of its parking spots, and people would be willing to pay for these since they can park there and walk into the park for free. Currently this is cost prohibitive because I would have to pay for this parking on top of a park entrance fee.

Aggressively tow illegally parked cars in town. It would be hard to get away with leaving a car illegally in town for several hours.

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,352
Lane Mathis wrote: If a park pass doesn't constitute a "parking pass" it will certainly deter me from climbing there.
If I feel that way so will others. 

Yes and in design terms, the tongue in cheek resposne is:
"That is a feature, not a bug."

Remember that the CPW statements to date include that visitation has doubled and they are trying to "mitigate" increased visitation.
Remember that 'Mitigate' = to make something less bad.

Alan Coon · · Longmont, CO · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 175

Another strike against eldo 

physnchips · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

Filled out the survey. The shuttle bus is definitely the better of the two proposed options, like how chataqua bus works. I don’t know how park fees via bus would work though, pay in advance and show proof on an app? It drops you at front gate and you have to walk the rest of the way? Separate buses, one inside and one outside?

Did anyone go to the event? 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Colorado
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