Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.
DENVER — You can hear and see the development in Cherry Creek as the cranes go up and the apartments and condos start popping up. But some neighbors who live nearby those construction projects say their streets are being flooded by construction workers and contractors who take up much-needed parking.
“The contractors park at 5:30 or earlier in the morning and they work on adjacent developments,” neighbor Barbara Ellis told Contact7.
Ellis has lived along Cook Street in Cherry Creek for 40 years. She says she’s watched the neighborhood change, and with it, the parking situation.
“Every single day. Monday through Friday and Saturday increasingly,” she said.
A quick drive down Cook Street showed several branded construction trucks, and several workers in bright-colored vests going to and from their parked cars. The east side of the street is resident permit parking only. The west side, where Ellis lives, is half open parking and half two-hour restricted parking. Ellis claims the vehicles that were there usually stay there all day.
“My friends can’t come to see me or workmen for me can’t park,” she said. “So it’s quite stressful.”
In March, Denver Public Works put out a news release on the topic of construction parking. That release claims that large construction projects will be required to submit a parking plan that “must aim to minimize impacts to surrounding businesses and residences.” It went on to say that construction workers “will be allowed to use the front of the project site for parking, but otherwise must utilize off-site parking that the contractor will be required to provide.”
Last month, Denver7 spoke to neighbors along South Broadway who claimed that construction crews were taking over their neighborhood and saving parking spots. The next day, enforcement was stepped up and the contractor was notified.
Barbara Ellis in Cherry Creek wants signs changed along her street, but says she’d settle for increased enforcement.
“It’s just not right the way we are ignored. That’s the hard part,” she said.
In response to this report, a spokesperson for Denver Public Works emailed Tuesday afternoon to say that the project along Cook Street was underway before the new construction permitting procedures went into place. They added, "For this project, the contractor’s street occupancy permit is still valid and hasn’t been up for renewal. (It sounds like the work is wrapping-up though.)"
Public Works went on to say that if a homeowner notices parking signs are not being followed, they can call the ROWE dispatch line at 720-913-1600.