Complaints after Parade of Lights may alter parking

A reported record number of viewers at this year’s Parade of Lights in downtown Grand Junction illustrated a pet peeve for many who thought their view wasn’t so great: folks who parked vehicles on Main Street well in advance of the parade, to get front-row seats, hogged parking spots during a busy shopping day and blocked views of the floats.

In response, the Grand Junction Downtown Development Authority, the agency that puts on the event, will work to eliminate parking for the parade on Main Street in the future, DDA Executive Director Harry Weiss said.

“We’ve had complaints that some people park in the parking spaces and block the view,” he said. “We heard these complaints before the parade. The bigger concern is that it tends to push pedestrians into the travel lanes. It is a serious safety issue.”

Weiss said there wasn’t enough time to implement a no-parking policy for this year’s parade, but the DDA will work on it for next year. In addition, the DDA will work on formulating policies for other events, such as closing Fifth Street to motorists for the Art & Jazz Festival. It may be easier to work on tweaking policies needed for several events at the same time, instead of trying to tackle them individually, Weiss said.

“It actually needs a fair amount of analysis and plenty of advance notice,” he said.

The DDA and the city will have to work out a system of enforcement, ticketing vehicles and notifying the public in advance that parking on Main Street is not allowed during next year’s parade. Parking on Seventh and Eighth Streets will be allowed as usual, but will be reserved for folks with disabilities, he said.

By all accounts, the Parade of Lights on Dec. 1 was the most well-attended parade on record, Weiss said. Crowds, in some places, were more than five people deep and viewers climbed on planters to get a better view.


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