Most Viewed Stories
Manitou hopes free parking, shuttle will ease congestion along Ruxton, downtown
Free shuttle starts June 16
* Fill out this online survey to help addresses parking needs of residents, employers/employees and visitors.
* Attend an open house to learn about the draft plan for residential parking permits, 5:30-8 p.m. June 14 at City Hall, 606 Manitou Ave.
* Read about the Parking Authority Board's work.
Anyone who has been to Manitou Springs in summer knows parking can be tough to find.
And the increasing number of people stopping in town to hike the Manitou Incline has only compounded the problem.
So the city is trying something new this year. It has leased a parking lot a few blocks from the main downtown shopping district and will offer free use this summer.
As a bonus, the Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway will offer a free shuttle through town and up Ruxton Avenue to the Cog Railway station and the trailheads for the Barr Trail and the Incline.
The lot, which holds about 100 vehicles and can accommodate buses and RVs, is located behind the Tajine Alami Restaurant at 10 Old Man’s Trail, just east of Memorial Park. The parking lot in front of the restaurant is reserved for its patrons, the city warns, and violators may be towed for parking there.
The lot is open daily from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. through Oct. 1 except for June 2, during the Colorado Wine Festival, and Sept. 1-3, during the Commonwheel Labor Day Arts and Crafts Festival.
The free shuttle from the lot through downtown and along Ruxton Avenue will operate roughly every 30 minutes between 6:20 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. from June 16 to Aug. 12. Seats on the 14-passenger van will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
“In addition to visitors, we hope downtown employees and hikers enjoying Manitou’s scenic beauty will utilize the lot and reduce the instances of parking in neighborhoods or the effect on the environment of circling for parking spaces,” City Administrator Jack Benson stated in a news release. Benson was responsible for securing the lease on the parking lot.
“We appreciate the property owner, Mr. Alami, working with the city to make the lot available for the summer," Benson said.
The city's Parking Authority Board is working on various solutions to parking problems in town, and is asking residents, business owners and visitors concerned about parking to complete an online survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ResidentialParkingPermitSurvey).
Members of the Parking Authority hope information collected via the survey will lead to solutions to ease congested parking in some areas of town. Parking consultants Nelson Nygaard is working with the board. Solutions may include instituting parking permits for the most congested areas.