Rubey Park is no gem, city says |

Rubey Park is no gem, city says

Janet Urquhart

The beautification of the Rubey Park Transit Center’s outdoor seating and landscaping was pegged Tuesday as a top priority for the Aspen’s Parks Department.

No one was mincing words yesterday regarding the aesthetics of the Durant Avenue bus station, which the city leases to the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority.

“At least from our staff’s perspective, it’s so ugly right now. It doesn’t reflect well on our department,” said Jeff Woods, parks director. “This is the gateway to our community. It’s our main transit hub. It was beautiful when it was built, but it hasn’t weathered well.”

The planters at the station are crumbling, the benches are deteriorating and the trees are dying because the irrigation system is shot, according to Woods.

“Not only is it ugly, but it’s not user friendly,” complained Councilman Torre, suggesting he wouldn’t mind scrapping the bus station itself and starting over.

Replacing the building, though, isn’t in the plans. Instead, the Parks Department will focus on making the raised planters look presentable, planting some flowers and trying to save the remaining trees while it looks into what it will take to repair the irrigation system, Woods said.

“If we’re going to keep [the planters], I think they should be beautiful,” he said. “Right now they’re eyesores.”

The city has about $75,000 to work with at Rubey Park, including funds from its parks and transportation departments. RFTA has budgeted another $15,000.

Woods suggested taking some interim beautification steps this summer while his staff comes up with more detailed plans to implement next year.

The concrete planters could be removed and Rubey Park could be redesigned to look more like the downtown pedestrian malls, he said, or the planters could be retained and covered over with a stuccolike surface.

With or without the planters, Mayor Helen Klanderud said she likes the current arrangement of benches, which offer a nice spot to sit and look at Aspen Mountain.

“I would not want to lose that,” she said.

“I’m just so delighted to see you take the project on,” said Councilwoman Rachel Richards.

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is

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