Wednesday, August 17, 2011

'Downtown, everything's waiting for you'

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2011 at 10:48 AM

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If you're reading this, it's likely (though not certain) that you're a fan of Colorado Springs' downtown area. And sure, there could be more store diversity; and the addition of a convention center — take that, The Broadmoor and Cheyenne Mountain Resort! — or sports stadium would be pie-in-the-sky awesome. And it's about to get a little prettier, reports the CSBJ, with the Downtown Development Authority and Business Improvement District dropping $145,000 for downtown-sprucing-up and party-throwing for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

But then there are the detractors, and that's where local blog Oinkety has got you covered. Run by Gazette news editor, and wheel-bearing master Mike Eiler, and photographer and all-round cooking/gardening goddess Adrienne Cragnotti, a posting the other day took on the misconceptions about our fair downtown streets.

MYTH: There’s no parking; the meters are too short; it’s too expensive; I don’t have coins!
FACT: The city has three parking garages (Bijou/Cascade; city administration garage; Kiowa) with a total of more than 2,500 spaces. There are 2,400 metered parking spaces and several surface lots. There is parking. As for the cost, it’s 75 cents an hour at the garages and a dollar an hour on the street. If this cost is a hardship, you have more problems than just downtown parking. Sometimes, you don’t get to park right in front of where you’re going and you have to walk maybe a block or two. But here’s the thing: The actual distance is no farther than where you park at a big-box retailer. But instead of walking through a sea of cars, you get to walk on a nice, shaded downtown street with other pedestrians past shops and services. It’s pleasant. As for not having any coins, I hear you. Nothing chaps my rear like businesses and entities that make it hard for me to spend money. You want me to pay for parking, make it as easy as possible. So I was happy when I discovered the Easy Park card. It’s accepted at all the meters and it is refillable.

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