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More parking not always the best solution at open space parks

Open space parking
Posted at 7:54 PM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 07:48:27-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Public lands in Colorado remain a popular way to get a break from COVID rules. Growth in the area is also contributing to crowds. It often shows with parking spilling out onto streets or spots not intended for parking.

New parking areas have been added to more than a half dozen parks in recent years. It is hundreds of new spaces.

Colorado Springs Parks, Senior Landscape Architect David Deitemeyer said there is an important purpose with formalized parking. ”There's an efficiency and predictability for every time you show up, you know exactly where you can park in a legal parking space." It is a tool for better land management and sustainability.

There is another side to land conservation that also has to be considered with parking at open space parks. Too much parking, can encourage too many people. "These properties do have carrying capacity,” said Deitemeyer, “There's only so much visitation it can have and so we have to be somewhat cautious on how much parking we do provide."

Planners use parking limits are a tool for preservation. A full parking lot is a prompt of sorts suggesting another, not as crowed park, may be a better choice.

A bigger picture solution is looking to add more public land. Options spread out people and all their vehicles.