On Oct. 6, I parked my vehicle on the east side of Harrison Avenue near the corner of Sixth Street. I tried to space my vehicle evenly between the fire hydrant and crosswalk. When I returned to my vehicle less than an hour later, I received a parking ticket. There was no sign stating that parking was not permitted in that space, nor was the curb painted yellow as it is throughout the remainder of Leadville.
I went to the police station to dispute the parking ticket. I had a lengthy conversation with the chief of police and the community service officer that issued the ticket. I explained that I was only parked there for a short period while picking up an expensive piece of art at a local shop. I also explained that I am working with a local contractor to have my new home built in nearby Twin Lakes and have been supporting the local community quite a bit with eating at numerous restaurants in town and buying local artwork. I asked them to have some sympathy for a soon-to-be local that’s supporting the local economy by just giving me a warning instead of a ticket as this was my first offense. That fell to deaf ears.
They informed me that parking is not allowed within 15 feet of a fire hydrant and 20 feet of a crosswalk. I went back this week while in town and measured the distance between the fire hydrant and crosswalk. It’s 31 feet between them. This means there is not enough space to legally park any vehicle in this spot. There should be a sign stating no parking and/or the curb should be painted yellow.
The City of Leadville knows that you can’t legally park a vehicle there, but they refuse to mark it off limits. Yet, in my opinion, the police department continues to deceitfully ticket vehicles that unknowingly park in this spot. This is a trap. Not only is this practice deceitful, but I believe it’s an overt attempt for revenue generation for the City of Leadville. This seemingly “legal” parking spot is actually completely dishonest and fraudulent.
This is not a way to treat the public that is coming to downtown Leadville to conduct business and support the local economy. I implore the mayor of Leadville to put an end to this practice and properly mark the area as a no parking zone.
Editor’s Note: As a state highway, Harrison Avenue is under the jurisdiction of Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), not the City of Leadville. The city is not able to paint curbs along the stretch of highway without CDOT authorization.