Dear Action Line: A sign at the parking lot at Durango High School says the lot is “permit parking only,” but the next sign says the entrance is for horses only, with a big exclamation point! Then we are informed that NO horses are allowed in the parking lot. Whoa. Confusion reigns. (Or would it be reins?) – Gid D. Yup
Dear GDY: It’s not just Cortez and Bayfield football teams that have historic rivalries with Durango High School.
“Back in the 1980s, Durango High School had a heated rivalry with the Ralston Valley High School Mustangs,” said Dan Snowberger, superintendent of Durango School District 9-R.
“To help corral their team and their fans into the appropriate paddock at the high school prior to games, we installed the ‘Horse Entrance Only!’ sign for them. Then, after a tough loss, we decided that we didn’t want to play the Mustangs anymore so we installed the ‘No Horses in Parking Lot’ sign.”
Action Line was all fired up and about to call Ralston Valley and ask for a rematch, but then a stray thought hit: Was Snowberger pranking?
He was! A Google search revealed there is a Ralston Valley High School, in Arvada, which has a Mustang as its mascot. There is not, however, a rivalry with DHS, Snowberger said on follow-up.
“Not that I’m aware of, but I had to make it plausible,” he said.
That guy is good.
“In all seriousness, we have a shared-use agreement with both the city and the county for parking at Durango High School,” he said.
The high school uses the parking areas during the school year. La Plata County uses them during the summer, primarily for Fiesta Days and the fair, he said.
“During Fiesta Days, the number of trailers they expect is such that they use the main DHS lot to stage trailers,” he said. “They are supposed to keep the horses in the trailers or move them to the fairgrounds right away.
“During the fair, people are not supposed to take their horses off the county grounds and walk them through the parking lot.”
Dear Action Line: I dutifully deposited a quarter into a city parking meter, but all I got was an impersonal and depressing “FAIL” message. Not willing to risk a $25 fine, I moved my car and paid a second time. Would the meter patrol ticket my car if I’d left it in the parking space? Can I apply for a 25 cent refund from the city? – Joy Parker
Dear Joy: Sounds like there was an error with that particular meter, said Wade Moore, parking operations manager with the city of Durango.
“We work very hard to keep Durango’s meters in tip-top shape, but through wear and tear and abuse, sometimes they have issues,” he said.
The customer service number is on top of the meter and most days a friendly parking officer can be at the meter in 5 to 10 minutes to help out, he said.
“We hope people will call. Then they can leave their vehicle at that meter, and when we find the error and correct it, we will add time for them,” he said. If you don’t call and take your chances, you risk a ticket because it just looks like an unpaid or overtime meter, he said.
If you don’t have the time to call, the best option to avoid a ticket is to move to a working meter, he said.
As for your quarter: Sorry, it’s gone.
“Sadly, we don’t have a way to verify the lost quarter so we can’t issue a refund,” Moore said.
He noted that your quarter, however, and all parking meter revenue, goes into city’s transportation fund – not the city’s general fund – and helps support the Durango Transit system.
Moore suggested buying a prepaid parking card, called a GEM card, from the Transit Center. These cards are not affected by foreign objects in the coin slot, you can add as much as you want, and you are not limited to the change you happen to carry.
“Which always seems 20 cents short of the time you think you need,” he said.
Email questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. Action Line loves it when public officials horse around or give quarter when it comes to parking meters.