New Santa Fe courthouse will have something missing

Posted at: 02/13/2013 6:42 PM
Updated at: 02/14/2013 8:25 AM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The Santa Fe County Courthouse hasn't opened on time or on budget. Now, after a County Commission vote last night, taxpayers are being told there's something else they might not be happy about.

No parking. It's an issue for anyone at anytime in the "city different". Kathy Green has a business in the downtown area a lot. She figures it to go from bad to much worse with the court opening.

"Oh, yeah. I circle the block probably three times and then I hope I have quarters," Green said.

She might need a lot of quarters. There will be NO public parking at the new courthouse.

Steve Melander-Dayton prefers biking it. Way less competition for bike rack space.

"I drive to work about three months of the year when it's too cold to ride my bicycle and yeah, finding parking downtown is always is a bit of a challenge. I have to plan ahead an extra fifteen minutes," Melander-Dayton said.

Security concerns led the Santa Fe County Commission to vote against public parking. County commissioner Liz Stefanics voted against parking. She had some advice for would be court goers.

"They will need to make a little time to walk 4 or 5 blocks. If there are disabled people, there will be disabled spaces in those parking garages. And they can drop off people here at the entrance."

It still doesn't set well with Melander-Dayton.

"It seems to me that they should be able to address the legitimate security concerns and have a place for the public to park. This is the public’s building. You know, this is my courthouse."

The new courthouse is due to open in March or April.

It replaces the old courthouse, which is old and considered unsafe.

The State Capitol parking garage at 420 Galisteo, across the street from the west side of the Roundhouse, is about 3 blocks from the new courthouse. It is free, covered and open to the public.