April 12, 2011

by John Kiljan

Yesterday, the Arvada City Council took its first steps toward issuing parking tickets in Olde Town. In what appeared to be a well-received study-session presentation, City Traffic Engineer Patty Lorence outlined an initial parking management and enforcement schedule for Arvada’s central business district.

The implementation schedule she offered the Council centered on first encouraging voluntary compliance with posted time limits, a lot of data collection, and not doing hard enforcement until the data show that enforcement was really needed. Ms Lorence pointed out that the occupancy rate for on-street parking in Olde Town is currently running a healthy 55% indicating that violations are not yet an area-wide problem. She said that the City’s consultant has recommended an 80% occupancy rate as an action level for enforcement.

To encourage that voluntary compliance, she proposed a variety of parking-enhancement initiatives to be tried first, including a heavy dose of public information, parking “ambassadors” to encourage compliance and a uniform logo and signage system to identify public parking lots with friendly names.

That cautious data-driven approach seemed to please several Council members who were concerned that the City would be doing too much too soon to catch too few violators of posted parking limits. Council members also seemed happy to hear that no budget allocations would be needed until 2012 — and that’s only if the occupancy data goes over the planned threshold and enforcement begins later this year.

A new City parking ordinance is the next step for the Council. That will undergo a full public comment period before it is adopted later in the year.

The longer-range plans for parking enforcement and constructing new parking facilities (and paying for them) are expected to be more aggressive. However, as one Council member pointed out, the City has a three-year window to get this done before the Gold Line’s opening day. Others members were concerned that available parking in Olde Town might be taken up by construction crews if RTD did not properly manage their construction staging activities.


The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community will post more information online on its website at as it becomes available.

A previous CLRC News article on Olde Town parking may be found by clicking on

That article has further links to the City’s long-term parking plan for Olde Town.

City Traffice Engineer Patricia Lorence can be reached at

Johb Kiljan, CLRC News: 303-423-9875 or

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  1. John Kiljan says:

    Patricia Lorence asked to have this note added: “If it’s not too late, please be sure to put a caveat that an ordinance would not be put into place until the parking occupancy is over 80% and we need to take some action. Thanks so much, Patty”

  2. John Kiljan says:

    As a follow-up note, here are the official meeting notes of the April 11th study session:

    A. Olde Town Parking Regulations

    Patty Lorence, Traffic Engineer, presented this study session. She reminded City Council that the
    consultant previously found that even though there may not be a parking plan needed for Olde
    Town right now, the need will be there probably by 2012 and definitely by the time the Gold Line
    comes in. She said she would present the Parking Plan recommendations, the progress to date,
    the public information that is planned, the implementation process and the schedule. Ms. Lorence
    thanked the HOTA Parking Committee for their assistance and reviewed the various city
    departments that are involved in the program along with the stakeholders. She showed a map
    setting out the Signage Plan and a sample of the wayfinding signs, and discussed the branding
    and marketing strategy which includes Employee Kits for the employees of the Olde Town
    businesses. Ms. Lorence displayed a parking time limit map which sets out the various parking lots and street parking with designations for the time limits.

    Ms. Lorence then talked about implementing the program. She said data collection will be the
    first step and that data will be collected one week per month which will show occupancy rate by
    block, the average parking time by block and the potential violations by block. She said the
    parking time limits will be 8 am to 6 pm with Sundays excepted and the locations for the data
    collection will be Olde Wadsworth, Grandview to Ralston; Grandview, Yukon to Upham W. 57th
    , Olde Wadsworth to Webster; and Webster, Grandview to Grant Place. She said this data
    collection will then set the base for the rest of the parking plan.

    Ms. Lorence said should City Council approve moving forward with this project, the next steps
    will be to prepare a brochure and website, data collection, and putting in place the Olde Town
    Ambassadors. Following that, we would be setting up a fine structure with times and locations
    for enforcement, purchasing equipment and supplies, putting in place systems and processes and
    establishing a budget. Following that an ordinance will be drafted with enforcement provisions.

    Ms. Lorence reviewed the proposed schedule and said active enforcement is not planned until
    April of 2012 if approved by City Council. City Council asked that staff complete the first four
    steps on the flow chart and then do an evaluation and bring it back to City Council.

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