Quite a bit of buzz was stirred up a few weeks back about the parking ticket situation during the Arts and Crafts Rendezvous.
I know so many people are sick of hearing about this – including me. And even though nearly every ticket was justly handed out, since I’m in the business of providing a free community service, I thought I’d remind all you festival goers this weekend at the Inaugural True Grit Days to watch where you park. (Refer to page 9 of the True Grit Days Program, produced by The Ouray County Watch, for a helpful map that depicts the dos and don’ts of where to park around Hartwell Park.)
I’ll give you a hint, to boot. Steer clear of parking near the Post Office. For you out-of-towners, that’s at the northeast corner of the intersection of N. Lena and W. Clinton streets on the park’s northwestern corner. I saw at least 10 cars with pretty little envelopes under their windshield wipers parked there during the Arts and Crafts weekend.
Here’s why to stay away of the east side of that street, between W. Clinton and north towards W. Charles: there are two obvious signs that read “No Parking” between them, and on top of that, there’s a dumpster, which you know you can’t block anyway. Also, there are two handicap parking spots in that vicinity where a few cars were caught as well.
Another no-no parking spot is on either side of N. Railroad St. between W. Charles and Sherman St. (Colorado Hwy. 62). This one is pretty easy, according to our fearless law enforcement leader, Marshal D.J. “Scotty” Scott: “That’s for emergency access.”
When you think about it, it’s pretty logical. That stretch of N. Railroad has to be clear, or basically wide enough so the fire department can get its monstrous trucks out efficiently in case of an emergency; pretty logical, so let’s stay away.
Another tempting spot that’s off limits for this festival – though it was open for the Arts and Crafts – is the parking lot at the corner of N. Railroad and Sherman (Hwy. 62). That’s been designated for handicap only, according to event organizers.
OK, next: Keep off of private property. Example: Anywhere in the parking lot near the old Depot and the Second Chance Thrift Store, or on side streets where crossing into a yard is tempting since Ridgway’s vintage streets have no curbs and hardly defined sidewalks. Scotty received a handful of calls for that during Arts and Crafts.
What I do suggest is that if at all possible – walk. I know that’s difficult for many, especially since the majority of the folks that will be coming are from out of town and forced to drive. That’s one reason why the Ouray County Fairgrounds has been freed up, and a sidewalk on the north side of Sherman (Hwy. 62) is now complete from the RiverView Plaza Building (across from the Fairgrounds) all the way west to N. Railroad St. at the park. That’s only an eighth a mile at best, so I think we can swing it.
So, there you have it, the best I can do to help; oh, and one other thing: watch for the new stop signs.
New Four-Way Stops Have Gone Up
OK, I gotta blow the whistle on myself. I’m guilty. I knew in the back of my head as soon as I ran a story on the front page that four new four-way stops were to be created on the residential streets of Ridgway, I’d be caught running one…guilty.
Needless to say, Scotty and Town Councilmember Dave Drew got a big chuckle out of it. Here I am, traveling a street I’ve driven down for nine straight months and I run a stop sign installed a mere two hours before.
Thanks to Scotty’s “warning” period, he let me off with a, “I can see the headline now!” Scotty and Dave were hanging out on the side of the street, waiting for stop-sign runners and found an easy victim, apparently, in me. (I wasn’t the only one!) Well, I hadn’t heard Dave laugh that hard – and we all know Dave’s laugh – in a while.
Needless to say, I guarantee if Scotty had ticketed me, I’d paid the fine because I knew I was in the wrong and not making excuses even though my, “Well, I was seeing if you were paying attention” bit didn’t work.
Enjoy your True Grit Days weekend.