City puts stop to traffic snarl (well, maybe) |

City puts stop to traffic snarl (well, maybe)

Tim Mutrie

Three new stop signs greeted unsuspecting motorists Thursday atthe typically snarled entryway to the Mill Street Station andthe Aspen post office.The city posted the heavily traveled Puppy Smith Street intersectionwith stop signs at all four approaches. The move comes in responseto an announcement by the Aspen post office earlier this weekthat it will close off the exit route behind the post office.Starting at 7 a.m. today, a chain will prevent motorists in thepost office lot from exiting onto Puppy Smith Street from behindthe facility.”I would call [the new four-way stop] a solution,” said Nick Adeh,city engineer. “If it’s good or not, I’m not sure. I’ve talkedwith the superintendent of streets, Jack Reid, and he shares thesame thoughts: It will give equal distribution to all the traffic.”But we’ll have to monitor the traffic there. One thing we’rehoping to do is meet with the post office officials to evaluatethe entire [traffic] movement of the area, and think about whatelse could be done,” Adeh said.Aspen Postmaster Jarman Smith said he plans to meet with Adehnext week to discuss the situation. Yesterday, plenty of motorists,unaccustomed to finding stop signs at the corner, were drivingthrough the intersection without stopping.Motorists must now stop at the intersection before proceedingfrom both directions on Puppy Smith Street, from the Mill StreetStation complex onto Puppy Smith and from the shopping complexnorth of Puppy Smith Street.Typically, Reid, the police chief and Adeh collectively addresscity traffic issues, Adeh said. “This is more of a quick solution,short of knowing the traffic distribution,” he said.”There are two congestion points – the exit from the post officeonto the Clark’s Market driveway, and the movement at the intersectionat Puppy Smith Street,” Adeh continued. “They’re interrelated,they’re not one single problem. In other words, we’re puttingtwo intersections within 70 feet of each other.”The post office has also decided to do away with the newspapervending boxes on its property, Smith noted.”That’s postal regulations: no newspaper, magazines or vendorboxes on postal property,” Smith said. All the boxes must be removedby Friday, Feb. 19 or they will be disposed of, he said.”It all gets back to the basics that many of the postal regulationswere not being followed here in Aspen,” Smith said.

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