Roundabout faces summertime test | AspenTimes.com
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Roundabout faces summertime test

Aspen Times Staff Report

This summer, travelers motoring into Aspen on Highway 82 will encounter something they haven’t seen before – the roundabout at the entrance to town.

But police officials aren’t worried, yet.

“When it was brand new, a day wouldn’t pass when you wouldn’t see tracks straight across. But there hasn’t been an accident in quite some time,” said Leon Murray, Aspen police patrol supervisor.

While the roundabout has become a familiar part of the landscape, it has yet to face the traffic of summer – when many visitors drive into Aspen.

Its first two seasons of use, however – last fall and winter – proved a dicey introduction for both residents and visitors.

“It was a double whammy because not many people knew how to use it, period. It wasn’t just the tourists. I mean, unless you traveled to Europe or Vail, you just didn’t know what to do,” Murray said. “We had a lot of people slamming on their brakes in the ice and going across the middle.”

But now locals have “the hang of it” and police expect the summer to be much less eventful at the circular intersection, even if visitors aren’t quite up to speed on rules of the road.

But, for those who might be a little befuddled when it comes to navigating the new approach to town at Maroon Creek Road and Highway 82, here’s a tip: Vehicles already in the circle have the right of way. Motorists entering the roundabout must yield to those inside.

The roundabout is two lanes wide – motorists should make their way to the outer lane to exit the circle. But if you miss your exit, don’t panic or stop – simply circle again.


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