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No Parking Disputes in the Early Days - Click to enlarge

58 Years Ago
The June 30, 1966 Colorado Transcript announced that the City was considering charging for parking downtown.

Ever since the first automobile rolled into Golden in the 19-teens, competition for parking spots had been growing. The downtown merchants were desperate to find places for their customers to park.

Diagonal Parking was considered a miraculous solution to parking shortages–it fit so many more cars per block!

The City tried many things, first going from parallel parking to diagonal parking (which uses the curb space much more efficiently) and later buying property to provide public parking lots. In 1966, the City was trying to determine whether people would be willing to pay for parking spots.

The merchants had mixed feelings about this idea: on the one hand, they wanted people to get in and out and not hog the parking spots. On the other hand, they didn’t want to drive away their customers by charging for parking. Shopping malls were providing fierce competition to older, downtown shopping areas like Golden’s.

In the end, they decided not to charge for parking. This decision held for 50 years, until 2016, when the first kiosks arrived.

public parking garage with "Paid Parking Zone" sign and a "Pay Here" kiosk

The City's philosophy continues to evolve. Having tried providing more parking for the past century, they're now reducing the available parking spots, in hopes that it will force people to ride bikes or walk downtown.

Thanks to the Golden History Museum for providing the online cache of historic Transcripts, and to the Golden Transcript for documenting our history since 1866!