Fort Collins city officials and local associations have
implemented new downtown parking parameters in part to ease
business ire and angst.
The city is attempting to crack down on repeat offenders who
habitually ignore parking violations and who park long-term in
spots designated for two-hour short-term use. The initial steps of
the new policies began on Feb. 1.
According to city calculations, a long-term parker uses one in
five short-term parking spaces that can heavily affect business,
especially at establishments with parking spaces located in front
of the business.
The parking space in front of a retail establishment can
directly contribute up to $300,000 in gross revenue per year, city
David Short, the executive director for the Fort Collins
Downtown Association, said the new policy is aimed at helping
customers visiting downtown get around better.
“Parking down here was a problem for customers,” Short said,
adding customers could not find places to park thanks to long-term
parkers abusing the two-hour time limit.
Randy Hensley, Fort Collins parking service manager, said there
is overwhelming support for the changes and said the city is doing
this in response to public outcry.
“Our top priority is to make downtown friendly,” Hensley
A few business owners are not happy with the changes and claim
it is unfair for city employees to have discount long-term parking
Hensley said the upset business owners have no reason to
complain, stating that any employer can provide employees with
permits that are partially paid by the employer, like what the city
“We do not feel we should provide every employee with free
parking,” Hensley said.
The city is going to continue to keep the spaces free by not
installing parking meters, but it has spent $250,000 in all on new
parking technology and policy.
Short said the technique of using chalk on motorists’ tires to
monitor the time a car has spent in a particular space is a thing
of the past within the core of downtown. This new $250,000
technology has partly been spent toward a new camera and pickup
truck that scans license plates.
Hensley said a new ticketing managing system valued at $150,000
and the plate recognition system at $74,000 made up the bulk of the
spending for new parking policies.
Additionally, the city discourages parkers from moving spot to
spot to avoid fines, and it plans to enforce an ordinance in the
future, Hensley said.
If motorists are seeking long-term parking, or know they will be
downtown for longer than the two-hour period in the short-term
spaces, then there are two garage options.
The Civic Center Parking Structure, located on the corner of
Mason Street and Laporte Avenue, and the Old Town Parking
Structure, on the corner of Mountain Avenue and Remington Street,
are 50 cents per hour, with the first hour free.
Outlying areas of the downtown area are also available for
long-term parking, as long as a motorist is willing to walk a few
blocks, Hensley said.
Kathy Collier, Fort Collins business outreach specialist for
SmartTrips, said there are plenty of alternative options instead of
having to search around downtown for parking. She encourages taking
Transfort or renting a bike from SmartTrips to travel to Old Town
or to work.
For more ideas for alternative modes of transportation downtown,
Collier urges to call SmartTrips at 970-224-6216.
|*The amount of your ticket will be determined by
the number of violations received in the past 180 days
|Overtime violations received within the last 180
|1st (Oops ticket) Warning|
|4th or more $50|