In quest of fewer cars
‘Plan B’ shuttle lot among strategies for 2010 Territory Days

       Visitors to this year's Territory Days will find three new strategies to reduce the number of cars seeking parking spaces in the neighborhoods.

Shuttle buses in the Coronado parking lot during the 2008 Territory Days.
Westside Pioneer file photo

       The ideas came from Jim Wear of Pro-Promotions, organizer of the popular Memorial Day weekend festival (May 29-31 this year) that's sponsored by the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) commercial group.
       One of his efforts is a “Plan B” to improve the effectiveness of the free shuttle buses to and from Territory Days. The Coronado High parking lot, 1590 W. Fillmore St., has been the single shuttle site in the past, but during peak event times has often filled up with parked cars, thus neutralizing its value. If that happens this year, the “overflow” will be directed to the Rock Ledge Ranch parking lot off Gateway Road at 30th Street. “ONLY then and ONLY if Coronado fills up will service to Rock Ledge start,” emphasized Wear, an experienced area event organizer who's in his first year with Territory Days.
       “Rock Ledge is a back-up/Plan B, designed to eliminate folks finding the high school full and then driving down to park in the neighborhoods,” Wear added.
       Ranch manager Andy Morris said Plan B should be OK. No events are scheduled at the ranch that weekend, and the OCCA will donate money in exchange. “If it keeps Old Colorado City less congested, then we're glad to help,” he said.
       No matter where people catch the free shuttle, the schedule will remain the same as in past years, with buses leaving every 15 minutes and dropping off at either the (east) 23rd or (west) 27th Street ends of the four-block Old Colorado City event, Wear said.
       Also new this year is the Bicycle Valet, which will allow people who pedal to Territory Days to store their two-wheelers inside an Old Colorado City bicycle shop (CS West), free of charge. People will need to walk their bikes within the confines of the event, Wear pointed out.
       A third OCCA effort is to expand the handicapped parking. According to the city's Special Events Committee (including representatives of police and other city departments), more spaces were needed than the 30 allotted previously in the city lot at 26th and Cucharras streets. So this year, the city has agreed to designate about a dozen on-street spaces for that purpose along Cucharras Street west of 27th Street, in a block that has few residences.
       “We're trying to keep the cars out of the neighborhoods,” Wear said of his parking-alleviation efforts, although he conceded that with the thousands who drive to Territory Days seeking close-in spaces, “that problem will never be fixed.”
       Also being considered as a parking-limiter this year was providing exclusive motorcycle parking within the event area, but a plan for that did not come together, Wear said.
       As for the 35th annual festival itself, plans call for much the same as in past years, with the addition of the new Discovery Junction area, sponsored by the Historic District Merchants of Old Colorado City. (See story, Page 1.)
       Closing off Colorado Avenue between 23rd and 27th streets for three days, the festival will feature about 200 booth vendors, various hands-on activities, street musicians and roving costumed characters, and shows and bands in the Bancroft Park bandshell. Special Bancroft events will include a fast-draw competition Sunday afternoon, May 30, several “shoot-outs” daily by the Gold Canyon Gunfighters, a Cowboy Church Service Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. and a Memorial Day moment of silence to honor fallen heroes Monday at 3 p.m.
       Steve Azar, leader of a nationally charted country-rock band, will be the top musical act. He's scheduled May 29 at 3:45 to 4:45 p.m.
       Pro-Promotions has published a 12-page Territory Days program, and the Westside Pioneer will also publish info and a schedule in its May 27 issue.

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