Local governments issue guide on how to use the roundabout | AspenTimes.com

Local governments issue guide on how to use the roundabout

Pitkin County residents may already have received a new “user’s guide” to the controversial roundabout now under construction just outside Aspen.

It was produced jointly by the governments of Aspen and Pitkin County.

And starting next week, downvalley residents will be treated to full-page newspaper advertisements containing the same information, in an effort to explain to motorists exactly what the roundabout is and how to use it.

“We’ve received lots of questions about how people can drive through this thing,” said Assistant City Manager Randy Ready on Tuesday, explaining that the brochure was produced at a cost of $8,000, shared by the city and the county.

The brochure contains several colored illustrations of the roundabout and how the planned “Entrance to Aspen” is ultimately expected to look from the air.

It also contains printed information on the signs that will be posted along the road and at the roundabout to help motorists negotiate what will, to many, be a completely foreign traffic-control device.

The information contained in the brochure includes statements about: How traffic approaches, enters and travels around the central island. Whether trucks and buses will be able to negotiate the roundabout (the answer, according to the brochure, is yes). What is being done to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists in the new configuration. A pedestrian underpass is being built under Highway 82, as well as crosswalks on Castle Creek and Maroon Creek roads. According to the brochure, by Sept. 1 the first phase of the roundabout project will be completed, the traffic signal will be removed, and cars will be driving around the circle. But the approaches from upvalley and downvalley will be held to two lanes on what will ultimately become the downvalley lane of pavement, following the “legs” identified as “to Aspen” and “to Basalt” on the illustrations in the brochure. The upvalley lanes, as well as the separated “legs” for Castle Creek and Maroon Creek, will remain under construction until November.

Although the brochure depicts trees and flowers planted on the island in the center of the roundabout, Ready said there will be only “interim plantings” put in place this fall. The permanent plantings will be put in next year.

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