Quandary: Overnight parking in Summit County
Quandary, the old and wise mountain goat, has been around Summit County for ages, and has the answers to all questions about life, love and laws in the High Country. Have a question for Quandary? Email your queries about Summit and the High Country to Quandary@summitdaily.com.
Why do Frisco, Dillon and Breckenridge essentially ban overnight parking (except in very limited places)? I understand they need to clean roads and spaces in the winter when it snows but it seems overkill when you can’t park overnight any time of year or on alternate sides of the street. You can’t even park overnight in the Frisco transfer station. Seems like this policy discourages residents from using public transportation and encourages drunk driving. What gives?
Jeff in Copper
Jeff, this has been an eye-opening question. As it turns out, the towns and Summit Stage are not trying to cramp your style, they simply want to test your worthiness. In what I’m dubbing the great Sobriety Games, each of the towns and the bus service will require sober you to take care of drunk you. It turns out, there are actually places you can leave your ride throughout the county, but while the county does not encourage drunk driving, it does encourage sober planning. Again, let me reiterate, please do not take all of the tips listed below as encouragement to be dumb. Mind your limits, mind your manners and don’t be a jerk, regardless of legal repercussions.
Anyhow, back to the fun stuff. Before your big night on the town, decide where you want to leave your car to give yourself the least amount of walking in the morning. If Breck is your destination of choice, you are correct there is technically no overnight parking in town. However, this portion of the Games can be solved with a little dough and a little planning. Parking in the satellite lot is allowed overnight, for the low, low price of $5.
A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) ticket, on the other hand, can cost you from $600 to $1000 in Colorado, according to drivinglaws.org. That’s just the ticket too and doesn’t take into account charges for completing any classes or other court-ordered treatment.
If $5 still seems out of your price range, befriend your bartender. You see, the bars and restaurants in Breck have a handy item called a patron pass. This quite literal get-out-of-jail-free card, gives you the power to park. If you are feeling on the impaired side of life, let the folks in charge know, and they might bestow one of these passes upon you. If you do find yourself the proud possessor of such a pass, you can leave your car parked overnight on the street or in town lots, but it must be moved by 11 a.m. If you don’t get your butt down there by 11, you will still risk a parking citation.
Now if your beer goggles fit best in Frisco, you just need to do a little digging to win the Games. There are six parking spaces very near Main Street that are designated for overnight adventures, and I’m really tempted to just turn this into a scavenger hunt. Luckily, you’ve caught old Quandary on a good day, so I will give you the location — but only once. These six spaces of salvation reside on North Seventh Avenue on the east end of Main, by Triangle Park. If the other end of Main tickles your fancy, the kayak lot just off Interstate 70, exit 201 is there for you. Keep in mind though, if your night of drunkenness escalates into a full-scale bender, your car can and will be towed after 24 hours.
If finding the right lot or spots sounds like a little too much work, a simple call to the dispatch center can help you avoid a lot of cost. You can request a “no tow” from them at (970) 668-8600. However, if Mother Nature acts out, and we get a foot of snow, you are out of luck. If the plows need through, your car needs to be moved, whether it’s by you or a tow truck driver.
Then there’s the Frisco Transfer Center. Again, it’s not that anyone wants to ruin your good time, they just want to test your mental faculties beforehand. To pass the test with Summit Stage, you can call the dispatch office at (970) 668-4164 to reserve an overnight spot before the madness begins. This is a free offering, and the main reason you are required to reserve a spot is so that no one will take advantage and turn the transfer center into their personal vehicle storage area. Summit County’s transit director, Jim Andrews, also noted that they are hoping to allow online reservations in the next few months, so keep an eye out for that update, along with many other improvements to the transfer center.
If you are hoping to belly up to Dillon’s watering holes, let the games begin. In this version of the Sobriety Games, overnight parking lots rotate throughout the week. There are two designations for Dillon’s lots: blue and green. Green lots allow overnight parking on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, while blue lots allow parking on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. While I hope you are taking my word as gospel, feel free to check TownofDillon.com/town-government/departments/police/traffic-parking for more information.
Don’t worry, one nice thing about the Sobriety Games is they are all open book. Check town websites and, shockingly, signage at the parking spots to figure out if you are in the right for the night.
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