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Aspen looks to curb its parking problem

ASPEN, Colo. -- The community of Aspen has a huge parking problem and city leaders are trying to figure out how to alleviate it.

This week, they met with residents and local business owners to come up with some possible options.

“My goal is to save the parking in the downtown core for the locals coming into town spending money and for the tourists that are here to spend a lot of dollars,” said Mitch Osure, Aspen’s parking director.

Aspen only has 682 parking spaces in its downtown core. From noon until 2 p.m., Osure said the spots are completely full.

“There’s no leftover parking spaces,” he said.

Tourism-related traffic numbers for the city are higher in the summer than they are in the winter. Roughly 10,000 to 15,000 vehicles can pass through Aspen on any given day.

“We need to keep being creative and come up with ideas,” Osure said.

Some options city leaders have discussed include alternative forms of transportation, electric vehicles and micro transit.

Starting in June, Aspen will no longer charge for the first 15 minutes someone parks in its metered parking spots.

“Our hope is the citizens will come into town, but only spend 15 minutes,” he said.

Aspen’s has about 6,000 residents.

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