COLORADO SPRINGS — Free street parking is no longer an option in front of the Colorado Springs Police Operations Center (POC).
It has been free for decades but now you have to pay a meter to park on the street.
Scott Lee, the Colorado Springs Parking Enterprise Director said there is a direct correlation to extensive growth happening in downtown Colorado Springs.
“We're being proactive and putting the meters in ahead of time so that somebody doesn't move in under the impression that there's going to be free parking on the street right in front of them.”
There is a lot of development near the POC including multiple large residential complexes.
It is Lee’s job to study and estimate the impact on parking from all the new people moving into the area.
There is often overflow parking onto streets despite parking within complexes.
“They're usually allowing about 1.1 spaces per unit. So, the extra vehicle has to go somewhere. And there's not a surplus of surface lots nearby. It's usually on-street parking,” said Lee. “If it's free, everybody's going to park there.”
If spaces in front of the POC remained free there was potential for neighbors to occupy all the spaces for extended periods of time.
The way to keep spaces open is a meter.
They are affordable for short periods and cost prohibitive for long-term parking.
“You charge for it so people don't just park there and leave their vehicle for hours and hours,” said Lee, It is to create that turnover.”
It does create a small expense for someone needing to do business at the POC but also helps ensure there are places to park when matters may be urgent.
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