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Boulder Explores New Ways To Prevent Summer Parking Mayhem

Jim Hill
As more visitors and events, like Colorado Theatre-Hikes, use Boulder's Chautauqua Park, traffic and parking have become a problem.

A new pilot program hopes to address a growing problem at Boulder’s Chautauqua Park:

Too many people and too few places for them to park their cars.

“We’re hearing from some people who live or work in Boulder who say, ‘You know, at certain peak times, I don’t even bother to try to go to Chautauqua anymore,’” said Lisa Smith with the city’s Community Vitality department.

To help ease some of the congestion, starting this weekend visitors to Chautauqua can either pay to park there or take a free shuttle during weekends throughout the summer.

The Park to Park program aims to reduce traffic in the area, specifically on weekends when parking at Chautauqua and the surrounding neighborhoods becomes increasingly challenging, Smith said.

During the pilot program, parking at Chautauqua and in the surrounding areas will cost $2.50 an hour. Visitors can use pay stations or pay via the city’s ParkMobile app. Park to Park will run through Aug. 27.

A major goal with the shuttle is to make it suited for both visitors to the historical and cultural parts of the park, as well as the natural areas, Smith said.

“There are bike racks on the front of the buses, we have space reserved for climbing gear, crash pads, that sort of thing, and then -- they do need to have a leash on -- but dogs are welcome to ride the shuttle,” she said. “So we really tried to make it as accessible as we could for folks.”

Visitors who use the ride-sharing company Lyft can also get a $2.50 round-trip or $1.25 one-way discount on travel to and from Chautauqua.

The city will take community comments and analyze data from the summer to understand how the pilot project worked.

Stacy was KUNC's arts and culture reporter from 2015 to 2021.
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