August 25, 2016 Vol. 15 No. 40
Parking fines in residential areas on their way up
Written by Jeanne Davant   

Conquering Pikes Peak

082516-PPAM_AscentStart 082516-PPAM_Pieper 082516-PPAM_Weldemariam

The Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon took place Aug. 20 and 21, respectively. The overall Ascent winners: Joseph Gray of Colorado Springs with a time of 2 hours, 5 minutes and 28 seconds, and Kim Dobson of Eagle, 2:34:39.

The overall Marathon winners: Alex Nichols of Colorado Springs, 3:40:29, and Dobson, 4:44:44. 

Top, Ascent runners take to Manitou Avenue on Saturday. A total of 2,110 runners entered the race.

Second from top, in 1959, Arlene Pieper was the first woman to finish the Pikes Peak Marathon, with a time of 9 hours, 16 minutes. The Colorado Springs resident, then 29 years old, was the first official female marathon finisher anywhere in the United States.

Above, Azerya T. Weldemariam of Englewood nears the finish line of the Marathon. He came in second with a time of 3:42:52; Welemariam also ran the Ascent and finished fourth at 2:15:39.

Photos by Casey Bradley Gent.

Manitou Springs City Council is poised to implement a Parking Authority Board recommendation to increase fines for parking in the Residential Parking Program (RPP) areas and make other changes designed to relieve congestion on Ruxton Avenue.

At its Sept. 6 meeting, Council will consider a revision of the city’s fee schedule to double the current $35 fine for a first offense in all of the residential parking areas and increase the fines for a second offense from $75 to $100 and for a third offense from $100 to $150.

Councilors at Tuesday’s work session said they agreed, and some said they’d like to see the fines increase even more.

“I’d like to raise all the RPP fines to $100 for a first offense,” Councilor Randy Hodges said.

The Parking Authority Board thought raising the fines would help deter inappropriate parking on Ruxton Avenue but also in the other areas, Senior Planner Michelle Anthony stated in a memo to Council.

The board also recommended that 25 parking spaces on upper Ruxton Avenue and Winter Street be added to the Residential Parking Program. Paid parking in the Ruxton RPP area is permitted from
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; only residential permit holders are allowed to park there on weekends.

At its July 26 meeting, the board also declared that it does not support resident-only parking on Ruxton at all times.

Residents who attended the work session disagreed.

“I’d like to see, eventually, all vehicular and pedestrian traffic off of Ruxton,” resident Ray Ferguson said. “We have this big jungle gym (the Manitou Incline) in our backyard, and we don’t own it.

“Everybody wants to play on it. We’ve made these rules, and the rules have been broken and overlooked. It affects all of us. What can we do to better our quality of life?”

“I think we really need to face the fact that there are just too many cars in Ruxton Canyon,” said Ruxton Avenue resident and Parking Authority Board member Bill Koerner.

“It’s going to take some hard decisions. We have lost our quality of life and we’ve got to get it back. As a resident I think we’re entitled to it. It’s why we live here.”

Councilor Becky Elder said she supported the idea of eliminating public parking on Ruxton.

“I’m all for giving Ruxton back to the residents,” Elder said.

Councilors recognized that long-term solutions for Ruxton Canyon should be considered.

“We need to put together a plan on exactly how we get there, but in the meantime, can we work on things that will help in the short term that we can actually do?” Councilor Jay Rohrer said.

Councilors supported Rohrer’s suggestion to post signs in the RPP areas stating the amount of fines for violations.

“Increasing fines for parking does nothing unless people know how much the fee is going to be,” Rohrer said.

He also suggested signage downtown that would show where parking is and is not available.

Joe Leung, regional manager for the city’s parking contractor SP+, said a way-finding system had been proposed to the Parking Authority Board and that the company would present signage costs to the board at its next meeting, on Sept. 27.

Mayor Nicole Nicoletta said she would schedule approval of the signage for that evening’s Council meeting “so we can go ahead and just do it.”

Council also will consider increasing the parking fee at the Barr Trail parking lot to $20 per day.

Refunds would be given to people who hike to Barr Camp.

“I would hate to make the trail users pay a premium,” Nicoletta said.

The mayor asked Leung to explore the idea of reservations for the Barr lot.

“If we get to the point where there’s no traffic, we could presell the Barr lot by reservation only,” Leung said.

“We have the capability to do that.”