Carol Rockne: We need parking, not parks in Breck
September 27, 2011
Downtown Breckenridge’s number one problem is parking. It is difficult for tourists and for town workers to find long-term parking near where they work and shop. Much to the town’s credit, they have worked to keep parking as close to the core as possible. Their two-story parking structure across from Fatty’s and behind Main Street businesses was a great addition- well planned and very functional. Parking behind Georgian Square, directly next to the Blue River, certainly qualifies to “be on the radar” for a pocket park in the middle of town, but it makes much more sense for visitors and locals to use it as convenient Main Street parking.
The same is true for Tiger Dredge parking. This past weekend, a fall, off-season weekend, the lot was full. This keeps Main Street businesses viable. To lose this to a park would be a disaster. I see how little the near-by rock garden park behind Kenosha is used. This use to be all parking for Main Street businesses before the town purchased it and turned it into a park of wildflowers. It is not used much and doesn’t add a penny to the sales tax nor parking income as the F Lot produces.
Also, l understand the town is considering expanding the use of the Riverwalk Center. Tiger Dredge is their parking. Why expand the use of the Riverwalk Center and remove their convenient parking? There is plenty of adjacent lawn (park) on the south side of the Riverwalk which is scarcely used except for special events.
The town has already carved out the center of town with the Visitor Center, its concrete park, the two blocks of art district and museums tying everything into the Riverwalk Center and its expansive lawn. The county is over 80 percent national forest. Breckenridge has Carter Park, the rec center with all its fields, the Edwin Carter Museum, the old high school on a large parcel, the present town hall with its adjoining parking properties tying into Wellington Rd., the Washington Mine site, the Stillson Patch Placer, the ice rink and train display, the Boreas Pass Historic Site, Block 11 (view corridor), the golf courses, all the acreage of the Golden Horseshoe and not to mention all the Forest Service land (the woods between Pinewood and Claimjumper) sprinkled through and around town. To take one of the few core, downtown, heavily used parking lots and turn it into more open space makes no sense at all.
Commercial business on Main Street pay high taxes and support the town with their sales taxes. They add an exciting element historically and of “a real town” that other ski areas do not have. There is already a worrisome turnover of these businesses on Main Street. If you take away their convenient parking, you will see a decline in their viability, so I beseech the Breckenridge Town Council to keep the parking as it is or better yet, expand it. Make Adams Street into a two-way street to Park Ave. and construct two levels of parking like you did on Ridge Street.