What’s the deal with the north City Market’s parking lot? We went there the other evening and it was utter chaos. Cars circled around like sharks. Vehicles were parked two deep on the sidewalk! All I can think is that skiers are hogging the parking in the morning to catch the Purgatory shuttle. Can’t anything be done? Sign me, This Is Nuts
Action Line can confirm pandemic pandemonium in the north City Market parking lot.
Take Christmas Eve, when a home-bound Action Line had a $10 bill burning a hole in his pocket.
Why not purchase a couple of lottery tickets for Mrs. Action Line as a last-minute stocking stuffer? What could possibly go wrong?
The first indicator was the idling City Market semitrailer driver just shaking his head as illegally parked cars blocked the delivery bay.
Then there was the audacious Audi inventing a parking space underneath the city’s “No Parking in the Alley” sign.
Meanwhile, the sidewalk along north Main Avenue was bustling – with vehicles.
Gridlock wasn’t improved by an out-of-state motorist who pulled through a parking space and now faced the wrong direction to pull out.
Granted, it was the afternoon of Dec. 24 and a lot was happening. Not that the City Market parking lot is a happening place.
But should we blame Purgatorians, using City Market as a Park-N-Ride shuttle lot? Do they think a Value Card is a free parking pass?
Not so much.
Action Line waited to see how many winter recreationists were catching the lone 8:40 a.m. shuttle on Dec. 26, the day after Christmas and a powder morning with 7 inches of fresh snow.
There were all of eight people.
“We have a few people using our lot for the ski shuttle,” a City Market person admitted, under the promise of anonymity.
“We ask them to be good neighbors and use the street spaces in back.”
What about signs reading “Parking for Customers Only” – would that work?
“Not really,” the City Market person said. “Most of ski-parkers pick up dinner or some items when they return. So they are customers.”
What’s at fault on the asphalt looks more like a perfect storm that includes perfect storms.
First, early snowfalls ensured a steady stream of skiers renting condos and VRBOs, all of which have empty pantries.
At the same time, Durango’s in-town population has risen 12.2% in the past eight years, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. Everyone needs to eat.
Meanwhile, the north City Market/Mac’s Liquor Store silly parking standoff continues.
City Market disagrees with the rent asked for shared spaces, so the partition remains and 12 precious parking spots remain off-limits.
And the shoppers keep coming.
The average U.S. household makes 2.2 trips to the grocery store each week, spending an average of $109 total, according to the latest Food Marketing Institute study.
Mrs. Action Line will point out that the Food Marketing Institute has obviously never been to Durango.
“How is it that we end up going to the store just about every other night? And we see the same people all the time. It’s a vortex from which there is no escape,” she said.
“And you can never get out of there for anything less than 60 bucks because we always seem to need this and that.”
Maybe “the Durango Lifestyle” doesn’t mean enjoying the mountains.
Instead, it means spending all of your time in the aisles.
Email questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you park on the driveway and drive on the parkway.