Aspen Rules 101, for visitors and the locals who forgot
The Aspen Times
To move about within the city of Aspen can take some patience, whether driving, biking or walking.
With a state highway making up Main Street and many tourists trying to find their ways around town, there is a transient population of travelers who often can appear confused, lost or both.
There are plenty of crosswalks along Main Street, but depending on the time of day and angle of the sun and shadows, spotting pedestrians waiting to cross can be challenging.
Blair Weyer has been the community relations specialist for the Aspen Police Department since December 2010. She said that because Aspen has so many visitors, the police work toward balance between educating people on the city laws and enforcing them.
Weyer offered some answers to the following questions:
Aspen Times — What is the speed limit in Aspen?
Blair Weyer — Within the city limits, the speed limit is 20 mph, except on Main Street, where it remains 25 mph.
AT — Do bike riders have to follow the same driving rules as a car when using city streets?
BW — They do. A bike is treated just like a car.
AT — What about bikes and stop signs? Sure seems like a lot of bikes don’t completely stop.
BW — Right now, bikes are supposed to stop completely at stop signs, but we’re looking at modifying the stop/yield laws for bikers so they make more sense. We’ve looked at some cities that allow rolling stops, and it seems to work for them. If we do change any laws, there will be plenty of education before we start issuing any citations.
AT — Is there a helmet law for bikers in Aspen?
BW — I don’t believe so, but there is a helmet requirement in the city of Aspen skate park.
AT — Do Aspen police enforce dog-walking rules, like picking up poop?
BW — That’s kind of a shared responsibility between our department and the parks department. Both departments work hard to educate the public on the rules, especially picking up after their pets. Getting people to comply is the main goal.
AT — Are there leash laws for pets in Aspen?
BW — Yes, there are leash laws within the city limits. Unless it’s otherwise posted, most city parks allow dogs to go off leash as long as the dog is sight- and sound-controlled. That means the dog has to be voice-controlled and has to stay within sight of the owner.
AT — Is jaywalking an issue in Aspen?
BW — Yes, it’s definitely an issue. It’s a real pedestrian safety issue, especially in areas without marked crosswalks. We also have a lot of people from different countries that visit here, and they come from areas that have different rules. Once again, our first goal is to educate. In general, most drivers around Aspen are very mindful of pedestrians. Our locals do a great job being courteous to pedestrians.
AT — Can a person get issued a DUI while riding a bike?
BW — Yes, you can. You’re operating a vehicle and the same rules apply.
AT — Can a person of legal age walk around Aspen with an open container of alcohol?
BW — No. That’s a countywide law: no open containers in public, unless there is a special event happening, like a beer garden.
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