Officials form work group to combat Peak One parking problems
FRISCO — Officials are putting together a new working group to help develop solutions for parking issues in the Peak One Neighborhood.
Frisco staff members led a lengthy conversation about parking problems in town during a work session with the town council and other stakeholders Tuesday evening, highlighting concerns about overflow parking from the Zach’s Stop parking lot onto residential streets in the Peak One Neighborhood.
While the Zach’s Stop issue is the prevailing problem for now, officials say it may be time to begin looking at parking issues in town more holistically.
“While it feels very acute to the neighborhood this is also a trailhead issue,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jessie Burley. “And bigger than that it’s dealing with the growing pains of wanting people to come visit Frisco, and not wanting to deal with the actual capacity of what that means. … This actually starts with people wanting to come to our neighborhood, and the residents as well.”
The Peak One Neighborhood was developed as a mixed income affordable housing project, and designed to achieve certain affordable housing and community character goals. But the narrower streets in the area weren’t designed to accommodate for overflow parking, which has become a frequent occurrence during high tourists days with cars piling up on Belford Street and the Meridian Loop as locals and visitors make their way to the area to hike the Peaks and Rainbow Lake trails.
In addition to the nuisance of strange vehicles always lining the roadways, residents say that the excess of cars also creates safety hazards for children playing in the neighborhood, and often creates difficulties for other drivers trying to squeeze their way through when people are parked on both sides of the street. Jeff McEniry, the town’s streets foreman, said cars parked on the roads also create considerable difficulties for the town’s public works crews trying to plow snow in the winter.
But given that the trailheads are on Forest Service lands outside the boundaries of Frisco, and that there is a Peak One Neighborhood homeowners association that’s supposed to help address these issues, some officials voiced discomfort in the town taking the lead to look for solutions. Council members pushed residents to work with their HOA to come up with new ideas and to urge the neighborhood’s leadership to better enforce existing rules.
But ultimately, the council decided the town did have a responsibility to at least take a seat at the table to look for answers.
“It is to a degree a problem that transcends the neighborhood perspective,” said Council Member Dan Fallon. “We invite, and aggressively so, a lot of people to come to Frisco to enjoy specifically these kinds of amenities … so I think we bear some responsibility in being part of the solution. I think we need to be prepared to be part of the conversation so that it doesn’t have to be had twice.”
The plan is to bring together an independent working group of interested parties — including Frisco, Summit County, the Forest Service and Peak One HOA — to begin looking for solutions to the Zach’s Stop parking issues, and potentially help to inform bigger conversations surrounding parking moving forward as officials continue to reckon with the increase in visitors hoping to take advantage of the area’s amenities.
“The bottom line is even with COVID, it gave us a good example that we didn’t have to host any events or anything, and we still saw record numbers of people,” said Council Member Andy Held. “We don’t have to pull the people here. They’re coming whether we like it or not, and we’re going to have to deal with it whether we like it or not. This is where our infrastructure has to support the coming influx of people, because we can’t just say nobody can park here.”
“It’s a great opportunity for the Forest Service, Frisco and Summit County to work together and find some solutions that work for everyone, and really beef up that partnership piece,” added Council Member Melissa Sherburne. “We’ve had success around the county with similar parking challenges, so I’m confident we can find something that works for everyone.”
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