Downtown parking, or the perceived lack thereof, has been discussed in our community for a long time. Recent topics of discussion I have been included in have ranged from a residential parking-permit program for residents of the Avenues next to Downtown, how much it would cost to build a parking garage, and making our downtown more like Grand Junction by widening sidewalks and eliminating parking on Main Avenue.
Here are some facts about the availability of Downtown parking:
The city counts the number of open spaces at all 1,000 meters downtown several times each month on different days and at different times. The counts are done during the work week when the meters need to be paid. The data are shared with the Durango Business Improvement District.
Our analysis shows that Narrow Gauge Avenue has the most available parking, with 44 percent of its spaces available on average from January through June this year. East Second Avenue averages 36 percent of spaces available for the same time frame. Main Avenue has 24 percent of its spaces available for the first half of the year.
We can also look at data by block. On Main Avenue, the block with the most availability is the 1200 block where 51 percent of the spaces are open on average during the work week. On Narrow Gauge Avenue, the 700 block and 1100 block have averaged 51 percent of spaces open for parking. For East Second Avenue, the 1100 block also has 51 percent of its spaces available for the first half of the year.
When we look at the data by month, we found that March had the most availability on average with 40 percent of downtown spaces available for parking. The least availability was surprisingly in January, with only 24 percent of the spaces available. Year to date, on average 34 percent of the spaces are available for downtown parking.
Data are collected only for the work week, so numbers do not reflect available parking in the evenings and on weekends. I have found from personal experience that parking is always available at the Transit Center parking lot, plus it is free!
You can also park for free in the evenings and on weekends in the city parking lots on East Second Avenue. There are three lots located in the 600, 700 and 800 blocks. The 1,000 parking meters are also free in the evenings after 6 p.m. and all day on weekends.
A little-known secret exists for free parking downtown during the work week. The parking lot on East Second Avenue and Fourth Street is free during the day. This parking lot converts to private parking each night at 6 p.m. for guests staying at the Wyndham Hotel, but is free all day long.
The numbers show that if you can walk just a couple of blocks to your destination, you can typically find available parking in downtown Durango during the work week, in the evenings and on weekends.
To learn more about parking in downtown Durango, please visit our website at DowntownDurango.org/Parking.
email@example.com. Tim Walsworth is the executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District.