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Places Besides Cherry Creek Mall That Could Start Charging for Parking

Parking: more fun at an angle.
Parking: more fun at an angle. Heath Alseike at Flickr

After the success (meaning: lack of violent uprising) that was Denver’s response to Cherry Creek Mall charging an hourly rate for parking, the newest entity to embrace the idea is Boulder’s Chautauqua Park. The plan, which Boulder is hoping to pilot this summer, would charge drivers $2.50 an hour (which is reportedly double the rate for parking in the rest of the city of Boulder) to park not just in the lot at the main trailhead, but along Baseline Road and even in the surrounding residential neighborhood.

Paid parking is a somewhat recent trend — we used to be able to park in Cherry Creek North and LoDo for free, remember? So the question isn’t so much what residents can do about it; it’s which free-parking benefits might be the next to fall. Here are a few modest proposals.

click to enlarge JEFFREY BEALL AT FLICKR
Jeffrey Beall at Flickr
1. City Park, Wash Park, Cheesman Park, etc.
Once one Colorado park falls to metered lots, it makes sense that most of them will follow. Pretty soon, every trailhead and picnic spot will carry a parking fee. Just like on most of Colorado’s university campuses, there will be a sliding scale based on proximity — so if you want to park close to the Washington Park Boathouse or the City Park Pavilion, you'd better get ready to pony up.

click to enlarge The one guy at Tattered Cover who wouldn't have to worry about parking fees. - CORY DOCTOROW AT FLICKR
The one guy at Tattered Cover who wouldn't have to worry about parking fees.
Cory Doctorow at Flickr
2. Tattered Cover
Taking a cue from its old stamping grounds in the tony Cherry Creek North, Tattered Cover could start charging for parking at all its locations. For the downtown branch, this would actually be a step up, considering that there’s no provided parking whatsoever.

click to enlarge Parking at Casa Bonita will be handled with a single-file line ending with a mandatory beef enchilada that you don't really want. - KRIS GABBARD AT FLICKR
Parking at Casa Bonita will be handled with a single-file line ending with a mandatory beef enchilada that you don't really want.
Kris Gabbard at Flickr
3. Casa Bonita
Denver’s famed “You gotta go, but don’t eat anything but the sopaipillas" isn't so much a restaurant as a beloved local institution, much like Elitch’s or Lakeside Amusement Park. Both of those places own their own parking lots and charge accordingly — so why doesn't Casa Bonita? Fees could be collected by cliff divers, angry gorillas or Black Bart.

4. Denver Zoo
How this isn’t already a thing is a mystery. The Zoo put in a huge underground parking garage some years back that seems to just be begging for ticketing stations. With the demise of SeaWorld, the closure of Barnum and Bailey’s Circus and zoo culture in general on the decline (Saturday Night Live sketches notwithstanding), the Denver Zoo might soon need to find other sources of revenue.

Keep reading for more places that could accommodate paid parking.

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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen