Aspen to beef up enforcement on West Hopkins pathway
July 8, 2009
ASPEN – Driving along West Hopkins Avenue isn’t what it used to be.
The Aspen Police Department this week is notifying residents who live along the West Hopkins pedestrian-bike pathway that they are forbidden to drive more than one block along the residential street. The same rule will apply to all motorists who use the pedestrian-friendly leg of Hopkins.
The police department said it will issue $100 fines for failing to adhere to the “obedience to official traffic control devices” – in this case, the new signs that are being posted on West Hopkins this week. The new signs read: “Aspen Ped-Bike Way, Motorized Vehicles, One Block Only.”
Failure to comply also could result in a four-point penalty to rogue drivers.
Assistant Police Chief Linda Consuegra said Tuesday the heavier enforcement is triggered by safety complaints from cyclists, walkers and nearby residents who use the pathway.
“It’s more of a problem in the high season, and we’re really trying to be clear about how we’ll be enforcing it,” Consuegra said.
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The pathway connects to the Marolt bridge, a popular gateway to Castle Creek and Maroon Creek roads for bicyclists, and the bicycle trails that run through the Marolt open space and alongside the Aspen Golf Course to the Aspen Business Center.
“There’s a super-high volume of traffic along the [Hopkins Avenue] pathway,” said Mike Tracey, police patrol supervisor.
The conflict between motorists and pathway users is amplified during the period of April through October, Consuegra said. That’s when orange cones are placed down the middle of the pathway, narrowing the east- and westbound lanes. But the pedestrian-bike path way is a year-round thoroughfare, Consuegra said, adding that the one-block maximum will be enforced throughout the year.