Urban planning experts come to visit Yampa Street

Posted by Colorado Group Realty on Monday, July 23rd, 2012 at 10:15am.

The planners arrived in Steamboat Springs on Thursday night and met with Yampa Street business and property owners with the goal of hashing out an actionable plan to revitalize the roadway that runs parallel to the Yampa River.

On Saturday, the team of experts from the Colorado Chapter of the Urban Land Institute told Yampa Street stakeholders a lot can be done to increase their street’s vibrancy and accessibility to pedestrians.

The planners’ initial ideas for the roadway ranged from the addition of new river access points, sidewalks and overhead lights fashioned after Denver’s Larimer Square, to better management of existing downtown parking.

“One of the things they mentioned is Steamboat is in the dark ages when it comes to managing parking. Our hourly parking allotments are the old way of doing things,” Tracy Barnett, Mainstreet Steamboat Manager said, adding paid parking was mentioned as an alternative. “They said there are much better ways to manage our parking, and if we manage what we have better, there shouldn’t be much of a problem.”

She added the stakeholders on the street soon could band together to form a public-private partnership and create a funding mechanism for improvements similar to one used by businesses at the base of Mount Werner.

The revitalization of Yampa Street moved into the spotlight this year after city officials announced they wanted to move the police and firefighting stations off the street into a new public safety facility constructed in west Steamboat and free up retail space in what is now a “dead zone” of the street.

Yampa Valley Electric Association, another big presence on Yampa, also plans to eventually relocate its Yampa Street headquarters to free up even more space.

Their ideas are preliminary, and the leader of the planning team is expected to return in a month or two to present a final plan for the street to the Steamboat Springs City Council, which authorized $15,000 for the study.

Read the entire article at SteamboatToday.com

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