Aspen ends traffic experiment
July 14, 2010
ASPEN – Left turns from Power Plant Road onto Cemetery Lane are no longer a no-no, Aspen officials announced Wednesday.
The experiment – intended to keep motorists on Main Street/Highway 82 as they left town instead of cutting through the West End – started June 28. The restriction was in effect during the peak afternoon commuting hours, Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., and generated plenty of complaints from the commuting public.
“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 Highway 82 by keeping cars from ‘cutting in line’ from Cemetery Lane,” said City Manager Steve Barwick in a press release.
City officials also saw an increase in traffic on Eighth Street during the experiment, with vehicles cutting into Main Street traffic at that point.
Additionally, police observed unsafe conditions on Cemetery Lane, with vehicles turning around and creating conflicts with pedestrians and bicycles in the area as a result of the experiment.
“We’ve seen frustrated drivers, unsafe scenarios and overwhelming public comment against this experiment,” Barwick said in the press release. “It can’t be considered a success, so we are ceasing the experiment immediately.”
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Drivers should note that on Monday, July 19, Power Plant Road will be closed until 3 p.m. in order for paving to occur.