CDOT, Pitkin County talk roads and highways |

CDOT, Pitkin County talk roads and highways

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times

State transportation officials met Tuesday with Pitkin County commissioners who urged them to make some fixes to the Aspen roundabout and make a stretch of Highway 133 more bicyclist friendly.

“The roundabout is really starting to fail,” Commissioner Rachel Richards told members of the Colorado Department of Transportation. She noted that the road in the rotary has some deep depressions and the winter season could worsen them.

“It’s looking pretty bad,” she said.

The roundabout hasn’t been on CDOT’s radar, but Steve Olson, the department’s program engineer for Region 3, which includes Pitkin County, said it will look into it.

Commissioner George Newman also said that a stretch of Highway 133 is now more dangerous for cyclists because of narrower shoulders.

In April, CDOT began a $5 million project to upgrade a 16.3-mile stretch of Highway 133 from Redstone to Carbondale. The work included chip sealing, painting center lines, guardrail upgrades and the replacement of bridge rails.

“It’s actually made bicycling more dangerous,” Newman said. “Now we’ve lost a little bit of the width, but also, that shoulder drops right down.”

David Eller, transportation director for Region 3, attributed the narrower shoulder to “striping issues.”

“Certainly next year, when we come back with our traffic striping, we can stripe it correctly,” he said.

Newman also asked CDOT to consider lowering the speed limit near Redstone, which is redeveloping its Elk Park along Highway 133 to attract more visitors.

Newman said the project will result in more pedestrians crossing Highway 133 to “go over and visit the coke ovens (which are across the highway from the Redstone village) and vice versa.”

The current speed limit is 55 miles per hour; Newman asked CDOT if it could lower it to 50.

CDOT officials said the county would need to make a formal request to the agency to conduct a speed study.