Fewer cars coming into Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Fewer cars coming into Aspen

Rachel Poole
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Traffic coming in and out of Aspen is down compared to last year due to the failing economy and loss of jobs, according to city transportation officials.

Traffic counts for 2009 from January to August fell 2.3 percent from 2008, according to city transportation director John Krueger, in a memo to the Aspen City Council.

However, traffic was down nearly 15 percent in August from 1993 levels, the benchmark year used by officials. The city’s goal is to keep daily traffic levels at or below what occurred in 1993. A total of 194,340 vehicles traveled in or out of Aspen in 1993, with an average monthly total of 24,293.

The 2009 traffic counts between January and August were 10 percent below 1993 levels and have also trailed 2008 levels, except for April.

By comparison, during Aspen’s busiest week, the July Fourth holiday, traffic counts averaged 26,590 in and out of town, which was up 2 percent from last year. The high day in 2009 was on July 2 with 29,051 vehicles.

The record daily traffic count occurred on July 3, 2003, with 33,600 vehicles, according to Krueger.

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The city has experienced fewer vehicles during the last 15 years partly because of programs that include paid parking, more mass transit, free buses, a car-share program, and free carpool parking.