Paved paradise and took out a parking lot

By Lorenzo Semple, Nov 24, 2017

We all saw it coming. There were diagrams, multiple points of view, planners, consultants and even community open houses. But when you witness something in person for the first time that’s been talked about incessantly for the past 10 years, that’s when the cold, stark reality hits. Now all the parking on the street leading up to Lift 1A is gone. The immediate effect this year will be a deserted 1A, more congestion on Durant Avenue and a bigger skier-parking crunch around the base of Aspen Mountain.

A lot of people are in for a big “WTF?!” gut punch when they first see it. Gone are the days of driving up Aspen Street, parking in the precariously angled slots and walking up to old, reliable 1A. It’s part of a disturbing trend that been happening for quite some time. We are hemorrhaging free two-hour parking spaces in town and around Ajax at an alarming rate.

OK, to be fair, not all the parking on the 1A hill of Aspen Street is gone. There are still four spaces barely clinging to life at the very bottom —two on the left, two on the right. Still, it’s a devastating loss of over 50 coveted two-hour parking spots. To add insult to injury, what looks to be a shuttle pullout (the bowl-cat of Ajax) to take people unwilling/incapable of walking up a plainly inhospitable Aspen Street has absolutely devastated the Dean Street two-hour parking lot, cutting off at least half of it’s previous capacity.

Between Aspen Street and Dean Street, that’s 70 spaces up in smoke. The effect this will have is pushing all of that parking into the residential areas around the base of 1A. If you live over there, get psyched for that!

The latest parking grab is perhaps the most painful for those who frequented 1A, and it’s important to use the past tense here because at times there will now be nowhere to park. It’s hard to imagine skiers parking over by the Koch Lumber Park and walking all the way up to 1A, but that’s going to have to be the new trend.

Read more here.