Aspen will see new trail for safety of music, Country Day students | AspenTimes.com

Aspen will see new trail for safety of music, Country Day students

Aspen City Council on Tuesday signed off on a new trail along Castle Creek Road that will lead to the Aspen Music and Country Day school campuses from the Marolt Trail.

The city's portion of the $2.7 million project is $600,000; the rest will be paid by Pitkin County.

"I think it's a cool project that was brought back to life two-and-a-half years ago," Austin Weiss, the city's parks and open space director, told council during its work session. "It provides significant safety improvements along the corridor."

Open space officials began planning for the Castle Creek Trail in 2017 after numerous requests by community members who said the road is unsafe for students to travel on foot or bicycle.

After months of outreach and community input, three alignment concepts were considered, along with their costs.

The alternatives included alignments on the west and east sides of the road, as well as a widened road shoulder approach.

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At a joint county and city open space and trails board earlier this year, a recommendation was made to design a modified east-side alignment, according to Weiss in a memo to council.

County commissioners and City Council agreed with that direction, and staff worked with consultants to create a modified east-side alignment that reduced the original cost estimate of $3.8 million, Weiss wrote in his memo.

The design includes a 6-foot-wide east trail that will be separated from the road with removable delineators and a 3- to 4-foot shoulder on the uphill vehicular travel lane to improve safety for road cyclists, according to Weiss.

The project also incorporates speed tables before and after the school entrance with increased signage along the entire length of the 1-mile trail in an effort to slow traffic through the corridor.

Councilwoman Ann Mullins said a video showing how dangerous the corridor is for students is etched in her mind from previous presentations.

"This is such a good solution," she told Weiss. "This looks great."

Construction is set to begin next year.

csackariason@aspentimes.com

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