To the Editor:
I was forwarded the comments on Baker Street Drive and I’m going to take the opportunity to reply to Mr. Behlen’s concerns. If you plan on publishing Mr. Behlen’s concerns, in the interest of fairness, I would ask that you publish my reply.
Town Council members in reply to Mr. Behlen’s comments, the concern isn’t just about “losing a few dirt parking spaces in the ROW”. At the meeting behind Baker Dr what was discussed was the overall parking situation with 28 spots behind Hernando’s, 14 spots behind Strip and Tail going away and a concern from the residents of Telemark as the parking shifts to not allow any overnight parking. Anyone who has been to Hernando’s or Strip and Tail on a Friday should be concerned with the loss of these parking spots
While there will be a parking garage and a good sized one at that, this loss of parking will severely impact Hernando’s and Strip and Tail, people will drive by and if the parking lot is full they will go somewhere else.
I have traveled all over the state and beyond going to “world class ski towns” many have the standard of parallel parking on the Main St. and diagonal parking on the side streets. Parking like this behind Hernando’s was one of the suggestions that came out in the workshop that morning. While this solution does not fit standards it is imperative for town to review their standards and codes as Winter Park is going through these periods of rapid change and see which standards are working for the Winter Park of the future not against it, rather than blindly following the current codes.
When the plans were revealed on May 19, 2015 I was present. More than one of the buildings have moved from the original plan. Concessions were made to the neighbors to the South and I gave WPD two easements to help with traffic flow and parking, none of these things were on the original plans. Additionally on those plans the Strip and Tail building was not in its current position the rendering had that building positioned along the west end of the lot which made it hard to envision where the sidewalk would be in relation to the current Strip and Tail building. The current plan also has no trees that were mentioned.
Safety was also mentioned as an issue. If the town proceeds with the sidewalk behind Hernando’s pedestrians can walk that sidewalk, then turn onto the existing sidewalks and cross the street at the intersection with 40 a well lit intersection with a stop light to control traffic, probably much safer than crossing behind the buildings.
This is not an eleventh hour conversation as Mr. Behlen has implied, I have been in conversations with Town staff and council since last fall about this issue.
In conversations with citizens and leaders of other ski towns they all reflect if they could go back in time they would add more parking and get ahead of the housing crisis in their respective towns. The council and staff of Winter Park are being very proactive about our housing issues and I hope they will do the same with parking.
Have a wonderful day
Ed Raegner – Winter Park CO
To: Town of Fraser Trustees, Town Manager and Town Planner, Sky Hi News, Winter Park Times:
After being away for a month, I have been catching up on back newspapers. There have been a few articles about the goings on of the Town of Fraser government. Unfortunately, they smack of GREED.
If I recall correctly, sustainability is one of the Town’s main principles. Having a solid opportunity to do something toward that, banning plastic bags, the Town wimped out in the name of money.
Levying a 10 cent charge for the bags does little to reduce plastic bag numbers and creates administrative burdens for both the Town and stores. The reasons given in the newspaper for not wanting a ban sounded like a smoke screen. Do you really think people are going to spend dollars in gas to go to City Market and back to save a few cents on bags? Do you think people are going to shop at the market in Winter Park and have a larger grocery bill to save a few cents on bags? Does the Town of Fraser actually think bags are important enough to dictate shopping choices??
Fraser has talked about a bag ban off and on for many years. What is really behind not moving forward with a bag ban right now?? Obviously, most of the Board and Staff did not see the documentary “Bag It” or really cares about being “sustainable” as your Town material states or is oblivious to all the plastic bag litter around the state. Come on Fraser, man up.
The second issue, which I have already weighed in on to the Town, is those obstacles (medians) proposed for the middle of Highway 40 in the name of pedestrian safety or beautification or traffic calming or whatever.
Fairly recently, the Town of Empire installed a couple of those medians. Have they changed the way you drive through Empire? Do you think they beautify the Town? Do the medians in Winter Park cause you to drive differently? Do you even really see them anymore? People have crashed into the medians in Winter Park during snowstorms.
Regarding existing structures, driving my small car, I had to stick its nose out to the traffic lane to see oncoming traffic when turning left from Eisenhower. How well thought out is this current proposal?
In the newspaper, someone is quoted saying their flowers will make Fraser ‘more charming’. Think about how much of the year Fraser will actually have blooming flowers. There are other places to put flowers besides the middle of the road. I would hate to think that someone is looking at the beautiful flowers instead of paying attention to the pedestrians and traffic around them.
My experience as a regular driver through Fraser is that only about 10% of the time is traffic going as fast as the speed limit. It’s doubtful that medians will slow traffic even more. In Winter Park, those structures block the view of businesses on the other side of the road, block the view of oncoming traffic when turning onto the highway and effectively eliminate a turn lane. Medians block the view of children, short adults and animals increasing the potential for a collision. They take up space where traffic could have been and concentrate it in other places. They certainly aren’t beautiful.
Many people spoke against the medians proposed for Fraser or signed a petition against them. It seems public sentiment is against them. Isn’t it the job of the Board and Town staff to act in the interest of the townspeople and business/property owners?
The reason given for moving forward against public sentiment is the grant money. Has Fraser even looked into making a change in the plan with the grantors? Fraser would not be the first entity to revise or turn in a grant. Don’t you think the grantor would agree to a lesser amount? So, in the name of money, Fraser would put up medians that who?? want for what actually valid reasons? This is disappointing.
Bev Ewer, Jay Clough, Melanie Zwick
Letter to the editor:
In your recent staff article “Fraser Planning approves Grand Park preliminary plats” you repeatedly said that I, Steve Sumrall, preferred “mountable curbs”. I said no such thing, and, quite the opposite, I suggested belly pans for drainage control and direction. A mountable curb is is the less sever cousin of a “ barrier curb”. It presents an obstruction much like a speed bump but more abrupt, that allows a vehicle to access a driveway, that a barrier curb would deter. My easement is a 600’+ by 35′ roadway for access and utilities to a commercial zoned property. A “curb cut” is normal for intersecting road ways, with belly pans directing drainage. Instead, was the “mountable curbs” on the plan being used primarily for drainage control to direct flow? What is lost in the article is that the original plan showed parking within the easement as well as mountable curbs. The developer stated, at the beginning of the meeting, that he had agreed to remove the parking from the easement. My position is clear, mountable curbs do not belong in roadways!
From the Editor: Steve, we apologize for misquoting you in this story and published a correction in this week’s edition of the Winter Park Times. We will work on our note-taking skills!