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Parking Planning: Your Opportunity to Have a Voice

by Claudine Perrault, Library Director


In this space, we frequently delve into our Library’s core values and resources: literacy and learning to name a few. But there is another topic on our minds, and probably on yours too: parking.

Parking challenges, which we know are greater during certain times of year, and certain times of day, likely impact your use of the Library and access to its wonderful resources. It’s a challenge that remains on our community’s horizon.

One of the most frequent issues noted in our patron feedback forms is parking, a concern that was again notable in our recent Library Patron Satisfaction Survey.

It is a topic on our minds—one that we care about, one for which we strive to explore remedies.

And that’s why we’re encouraging the public to attend the community forum being convened by the Town of Estes Park.

Estes Park’s Downtown Parking Management Plan will be the focus of an open house this Thursday, August 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in the Town Board Room at Town Hall. Participants will learn more about the downtown parking study, hear community input received, and learn about best parking management practices used in other communities. Residents, business owners, and library patrons are all invited.

Certainly, every voice in this conversation is one that matters.

It is the Library’s goal to be a good downtown neighbor. Many of our neighbors are small businesses, each a vital part of the economic lifeblood of our village. Studies have shown that public libraries are an anchor, helping to bring people to a community core, and in turn providing an economic bump as library users stop for lunch, grab a coffee, or stroll through a shop as part of their journey.

The Library is also part of the civic center: attached to Town Hall and near the village green, as it were: Bond Park. These are vital community services. Getting access to the resources of the Library, Town Government, and our vibrant restaurants and retailers, is what downtown is all about. It is the heart of our village.

Long-term planning by the Library has included the exploration of services beyond our downtown facility. One big step in that direction will coincide with the just-months-away opening of the Recreation Center near the school district campus. Many will be happy to know it will include a drive-through Library bookdrop—you can return items 24 hours a day without navigating downtown traffic — as well as a self-serve kiosk that will allow you to choose the Recreation Center location to pick up materials you’ve placed on Hold.

We are fortunate to live in a wonderful valley, with the benefits and challenges that come with living in a mountain village beloved by so many. Parking challenges impact our quality of life. Together, we have the ability to move toward constructive and creative solutions.