City Loop doesn’t include a parking plan. The City is building a 13 acre, 5 million dollar, Regional Attraction without a parking plan. City Loop will be “one of Denver’s most vibrant civic spaces” with staffed kiosks, comfort stations, and food trucks. It will attract hundreds of families, week-in and week-out, year-round, along with their hundreds of cars. Where will they all park?
The City has not answered this question. Gordon Robertson, Director of Planning at Denver Parks and Recreation, described the problem as “insurmountable” at a meeting of the Greater Park Hill Neighborhood organization. When asked to clarify, Scott Gilmore, Deputy Manger of Parks and Planning, emailed the following response:
“The comment about parking challenges be an insurmountable issue is just in reference to, that there will always be challenges related to parking in City Park [sic]. With two world class cultural facilities and one of the most beautiful parks in the country, people will always want to visit and hold events in City Park. It is as simple as that.”
Hundreds of Families Bring Hundreds of Cars
So here’s our calculation. Expect people to drive hundreds of cars to an Event or to visit City Loop on a busy weekend, as envisioned by the Architect in the images below. That’s a modest assumption, given the regional ambitions for the project. We estimate that the added visitors will bring at least 300 additional cars.
No Lot: Park in the ‘hood
If the city does not provide parking inside the park, these 300 cars are most likely to be parked in adjacent streets in the City Park West neighborhood. Considering the number of cars typically found on City Park West streets, we calculate that the visitors’ 300 cars will fill all available parking in the adjacent 20 block area of City Park West, as shown below. Our South City Park neighbors already have permitted parking in some blocks to address this problem on their streets. The permits are currently free, but the City is considering charging an annual fee. Is this in the future for City Park West as well? And will South City Park need to expand permitted parking throughout the neighborhood?
Build a Lot: Take Away More of City Park
If the city provides parking inside City Park for the 300 additional cars, they’ll need a 2.4 acre parking lot, according to our calculations:
3 people/car, so 300 cars for every 1000 visitors
1 Parking space = 350 square feet
1 Acre = 43560 square feet
Parking lot = 300 spaces * 350 ft² = 105,000 ft² = 2.4 Acres
The tennis courts cover approximately 200 * 300 ft = 60,000 ft², so the parking lot will need to be almost twice the size of the area they occupy.
Where will the parking lot go? Here?