Efforts being made to ease traffic jams | AspenTimes.com

Efforts being made to ease traffic jams

Local officials have been holding “emergency meetings” in an effort to find ways to relieve the traffic jams being caused by construction of the roundabout west of Aspen.

According to Randy Ready, assistant city manager, two meetings this week have resulted in a number of changes in the way traffic is being handled at the roundabout site, at the intersection of Highway 82 and Maroon Creek Road.

Since Monday, he said, the traffic signals at Cemetery Lane and at Maroon Creek Road have been under manual operation, to allow for the movement of longer lines of cars than might normally make it through one cycle of the lights.

The two lights are being synchronized, so that they are green at the same time, to avoid lines of cars backing up because one light is red when the other is green.

Manual operation of the lights will be in effect from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., and will continue through late August. By then, Ready said, traffic should be shifted from the temporary detour lane opened up last Friday, and be flowing around the new roundabout.

He said special signs will be set up to advise motorists of traffic delays and roundabout-related problems. One will be located in the area of the Aspen Village mobile home park, the other in Aspen on Main Street.

And if the lines of cars grow too long at any one time, Ready said, work will be stopped long enough to let the blockage clear.

“No car should be stopping for more than 20 minutes,” he said.

Finally, Ready said, work is under way to lengthen the turn lane onto Maroon Creek Road, and the merge lane from Maroon Creek Road onto Highway 82 heading into Aspen. He hopes that will ease traffic jams caused by cars backing up in the turn lanes.

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