Neale Avenue to close for two days near Herron Park |

Neale Avenue to close for two days near Herron Park

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times
Neale Avenue will be closed Monday and Tuesday between Queen and Original streets.
Aubree Dallas/The Aspen Times |

Neale Avenue will be closed Monday and Tuesday between Queen and Original streets as the first phase of improvements near Aspen’s Herron Park ramps up.

The purpose of the estimated $420,000 project is to reduce traffic speeds, increase pedestrian safety, formalize the Rio Grande trailhead, improve water quality and storm-sewer infrastructure and upgrade the Herron Park interface and parking area. Phase I, which currently impacts the north side of Neale Avenue, began the first week of October and is scheduled for completion Nov. 14.

Phase II, scheduled for spring 2015, will focus on the opposite side of the street and will include the construction of a raised pedestrian crossing, or speed hump. This is intended to decrease motorist speed through the corridor. Engineering Department project manager Garrett Sabourin said he anticipates about four to five days of street closures during Phase II.

Because Herron Park sits in a sunken location, Sabourin said motorists increase speeds from both ends of the corridor.

“(The city wants to) raise awareness for all users that this isn’t just a vehicle corridor,” he said. “There’s a lot of pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles.”

Resident Tracey Osborne, who usually visits Herron Park twice a week with her two children and their friends, said she was surprised to see construction crews working this month. Osborne said she and many of her acquaintances were unaware of the project, and recently a birthday party Osborne planned to attend was canceled because of construction impacts.

Because she works at night, Osborne said she and her children are usually looking for something to do during the day, especially this week while Aspen schoolchildren are on fall break. She and five children opted to go to the Aspen Recreation Center on Thursday.

“It’s nice to have somewhere where we don’t have to pay to have some fun entertainment in this town,” she said.

If the parking improvements result in more spaces, Osborne said she is excited about that aspect of the project. She also suggested the city explore improvements to the playground, though nothing is planned in that area.

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