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Q1: Will the Town charge for parking in the new structure?
A1: No. Most of the building sits on land owned by the US Bureau of Reclamation. The terms of our Special Use Permit prohibit the Town from collecting any fees for parking in the new structure.
Q2: How many parking spaces will the new parking garage provide?
A2: The south parking lot at the Visitor Center currently provides 102 spaces. The complete four-story facility will provide a total of 412 spaces, an increase of 310 spaces over the lot.
Q3: Is the new parking garage designed to allow a flatbed tow truck to retrieve a disabled vehicle?
A3: The short answer is "no". Parking garages around the world are traditionally designed to accommodate passenger cars only. This is the standard practice within the industry. Designing for heavy, commercial trucks has far reaching design and cost ramifications, including added building height, increases in headroom clearance between floors, larger turning radii at every corner, increases in the drive aisle widths, and increases in the thickness of structural members. These design changes not only ripple into cost increases but also reduce the yield of new parking spaces delivered by the project. Most often, the folks paying for new parking garages are more interested in using their limited funds to reasonably maximize the yield of new parking spaces rather than accommodating commercial vehicles which would rarely use or benefit from the facility.
Q4: How can a disabled vehicle be removed from our new parking garage?
A4: Most commonly it would be towed out of the structure. If the vehicle wheels won't operate, it may need to be lifted and supported with auxillary wheels. This is not an uncommon situation and a quick Google search will show a variety of clever ways to accomplish this.
Q5: When will the parking structure be completed?
A5: The anticipated date of completion of the parking structure is July, 2017.
Q6: Will there be retail shops in the parking structure?
A6: No. The primary purpose of this project is to reduce traffic congestion by providing additional parking for shuttle users.
Q7: Will there be restrooms in the parking structure?
A7: No. The Town recently completed an expansion to the restrooms at the Visitor Center to accommodate the increased restroom demand expected from this project.
Q8: Will there be an elevator for elderly/disabled visitors arriving to Estes Park?
A8: No. There will be ample disabled parking designated on the ground level and outside the structure for visitors unable to use stairs. Additionally the drive aisle ramp slopes are gentle enough (6%) to accommodate strollers or wheel chairs.
Q9: How will parking garage users be able to make a left turn out of the parking garage at US36?
A9: Left turn options at this driveway are the best of all the three accesses to the Visitor Center. This driveway already has separate left and right turn lanes for exiting vehicles. The dedicated left turn lane and striped acceleration lane on US36 provides a refuge which allows drivers to make left turns in two steps, depending on gaps in the separate northboundand southbound traffic streams. There is no opposing driveway on the opposite side of US36 that complicates exiting turns. On those busy days when US36 is backed up from the signal at US34 all the way to the Lake Estes causeway, drivers may opt to make the right turn instead if the stacked traffic does not provide any "courtesy gaps" for the left turns. This is normal in Estes Park during the summer. As we have historically done at congested intersections during events, the Town may provide manual control from a police officer to regulate turns at this driveway and assist exiting drivers. The traffic study completed for the project predicts that some time in the future, a traffic signal or roundabout will be warranted at this access.
Q10: How will visitors know if there are parking spaces availabe in the new parking garage?
A10: The new garage will be equipped with counters to electronically tally the available spaces in real time. The Town will install four new full-color electronic signs that tell visitors the status of available parking at the parking garage, the Events Complex, the downtown parking lots, and the Bear Lake park-and-ride in Rocky Mountain National Park. Two of these signs will be installed in the island at the parking structure entrance.
Q11: Will the drips and dirt from all these new cars pollute the Big Thompson River?
A11: We sure hope not. Water runoff from the parking garage will undergo a four-stage treatment before it reaches the river. First, the runoff will be routed through a three-chamber trash, sand, and oil separator. The water coming out of this concrete vault will dishcarge into a wetland water-quality pond for final "polishing". The water that does not soak into the ground at the detention pond will flow into the river. We expect it will be much cleaner than the water that came off the old parking lot.
THE PARKING STRUCTURE IS NOW OPEN FOR FREE PUBLIC PARKING AND EASY ACCESS TO THE FREE TOWN AND RMNP HIKER SHUTTLES!!
We had a great turnout for the grand opening celebration of the Estes Park Transit Facility Parking Structure! Special thanks goes to the Estes Valley Car Club for displaying their classic autos for attendees to enjoy.
During the ceremony, attendees heard from Mayor Todd Jirsa, Town Administrator Frank Lancaster and Public Works Director Greg Muhonen, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the new structure. Partners, staff, elected officials, and the community were recognized for their part in making the project a success.
For more information please contact Public Works at 970-577-3587 or firstname.lastname@example.org.