The springtime metamorphosis of downtown has been underway for the past several weeks ... and it shows. It started with City Parking Division installing some 1,100 new parking meters, 365 of which are solar powered meters that accept credit cards.
Got paint? The City Streets Department applies the annual fresh coat of paint to all downtown curbs and crosswalks, which sets the stage for several bicycle and pedestrian program upgrades. On-street bike lanes are now identified with painted bike symbols, along with Share the Road “Sharrow” symbols. The four new bright-green painted “bike boxes” and green hash markings identify and help organize the bike-vehicle approach to signalized intersections. Last week, Durango Fire Protection District came out in force to re-paint the downtown fire hydrants.
On the downtown sidewalks, many of which were replaced or repaired just last year, the Multi-Modal Team installed 160 circular bike-locking plaques. Bicycles also can be parked in the on-street racks (sponsored by local businesses) now found in multiple downtown locations.
Parking spaces just for motorcycles were introduced last year at five locations along Main, and they have proved to be popular and free up spaces for cars.
Just last week the Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement District and city of Durango sponsored the 11th annual Cleanup Downtown Day. More than a 100 volunteers came out to push brooms, remove graffiti, scrape gum and pick up trash from the Central Business District. New this year, a group spent several hours spreading mulch in Buckley Park.
The city’s Parks and Recreation arborist team has planted 34 new trees around downtown, and the new tree-base irrigation system installed last summer seems to working as planned.
Also, in its 11th year, the city and BID put out 101 barrels of blooming beauty, while volunteer merchants provide daily watering. Individual efforts by merchants to spruce up is also evident. Store windows get regular cleaning, sidewalks are swept and several storefront remodeling projects are underway.
The annual Clean Commute Week is scheduled for June 23-27; Bike to Work day is Wednesday June 25. All residents are encouraged to sign up for the commuter challenge by joining the Way to Go! Club at www.getarounddurango.co.
A great opportunity to see how good our downtown is looking is to enjoy First Thursdays Art Walk on Thursday. Many of the downtown restaurants offer open-air dining and the people watching is always worth the price of admission.
Later in the season, enjoy the annual Motor Expo and Who’s Your Daddy? events over Father’s Day weekend. If you’re planning ahead, you can count on a full day of family-friendly events July 4, including the popular 6 p.m. parade on Main, the street dance and the fireworks celebration.
Is Durango ready for a great summer? You bet we are.
email@example.com. Bob Kunkel is the downtown business development manager for the city of Durango.