Police pledge parking pressure at St. Pat’s parade

       Colorado Springs Police will be stepping up parking enforcement at this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade Saturday, March 11 in Old Colorado City.
       Police Sgt. Robert Weber said this week that the team will consist of a parking officer and two officers on bicycles.
       He said the effort is in response to reports of widespread parking violations in the residential neighborhoods, particularly north of Colorado Avenue.
       “We're trying to protect some of the implied rights of the neighbors over there,” Weber said. “The majority of complaints were about blocked driveways and people parked too close to intersections.”
       Parade organizer John O'Donnell said he appreciates the help. “I really regard it as a public relations issue,” he said. “The Westside plays host to the city twice a year - this and Territory Days - and event organizers are working with the city to make it easier on the neighborhood.”
       A parking officer on Saturday typically splits her time between Old Colorado City and downtown. Because downtown has more parking demands, 90 percent of her time is usually spent there. But from about 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on parade day the officer will re-verse that percentage, Weber explained.
       The officers on bicycles will be assigned to parade crowd control as well as to check “perimeter areas, particularly on the north side, “and write as many tickets as possible for violations,” Weber said.
       He has also talked to Lynda Dunne, who organizes Territory Days for the Old Colorado City merchants. “John and Lynda are trying to be good neighbors and keep as many people happy as possible,” Weber said.
       One of the residents who hopes she'll be made happy is Linda Kirby, who had joined some fellow residents in presenting event- related issues to the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) last fall. Last year, on the day of the parade, “I went to the store and couldn't get back to my house,” she said.
       For his part, O'Donnell said his office received no complaints from last year's St. Patrick's Day parade - which he estimated at about 20,000 people - nor has he ever heard from residents that they wanted anything done about parking violators. The worst complaint he ever got was 15 years ago, when an assigned crew did not clean up after a horse group that had been staged near 27th and Colorado to await their parade spot. “The next morning I was out there with a shovel,” O'Donnell recalled.

Westside Pioneer article