City abandons traffic experiment

By Real Aspen
July 15, 2010
The City of Aspen has canceled the Power Plant Road turn restrictions experiment effective immediately.

The experiment started on June 28 and prohibited left turns from Power Plant Road onto Cemetery Lane, Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.

“We’ve seen no significant decrease in traffic in the West End, which was one of the goals with this experiment, the other being to speed traffic on Hwy 82 by keeping cars from ‘cutting in line’ from Cemetery Lane,” said City Manager Steve Barwick.

City officials also saw an increase in traffic on 8th Street during the experiment, with vehicles cutting into Main Street traffic at that point.

Additionally, the Aspen Police observed unsafe conditions on Cemetery Lane, with vehicles turning around and creating conflicts with pedestrians and bicycles in the area due to the experiment.

“We’ve seen frustrated drivers, unsafe scenarios and overwhelming public comment against this experiment,” Barwick said. “It can’t be considered a success, so we are ceasing the experiment immediately.”

Barwick said full traffic reports and details would be made available at a later date and that Aspen City Council would consider other traffic alternatives in the future. Aspen Police will be increasing patrols in the West End for a transitional period.

The City of Aspen still encourages drivers to stay on Main Street for the safest and most direct way out of town while driving. The fastest route remains via RFTA in the bus lanes.

Drivers should note that on Monday, July 19, Power Plant Road will be closed until 3 p.m. in order for paving to occur.

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