Planning Commission to review RFTA parking lot, controversial El Jebel road plan |

Planning Commission to review RFTA parking lot, controversial El Jebel road plan

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

EL JEBEL – The Roaring Fork Regional Planning Commission will review a park-and-ride lot in El Jebel Thursday that’s tied to a controversial intersection relocation and road realignment.

At 2:30 p.m., the Planning Commission is scheduled to start review of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s proposal to build a park-and-ride lot at the former location of Mermaid’s restaurant along East Valley Road on the west side of Movieland and the Orchard Plaza commercial area. RFTA wants to build the parking lot as part of its bus rapid transit expansion.

A related component of the plan is drawing the attention of midvalley residents. Eagle County government says the intersection of El Jebel Road and Valley Road, on the south side of Highway 82, is not adequate to handle more traffic spurred by the RFTA parking lot and a possible indoor recreation center proposed at Crown Mountain Park.

The county’s consulting firm has come up with a preferred alternative for improvements that would realign Valley Road through the RFTA property and south of the existing Eagle County office building and community center. The realignment would require relocation of the road through the edge of Crown Mountain Park.

The county’s consultant says the realignment is necessary to move the intersection of El Jebel Road and Valley Road farther from Highway 82. That would allow greater stacking distances for vehicles if traffic increases.

The preferred alternative has been unpopular in the Roaring Fork Valley. The Basalt Town Council and Pitkin County commissioners have declined to endorse Eagle County’s preferred alternative. Organizers in Sopris Village, a neighborhood for 130 families, are opposing the plan. They claim that it will draw traffic through the residential streets.

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