S-curves experiment gets green light | AspenTimes.com

S-curves experiment gets green light

Janet Urquhart

Starting May 23, motorists will turn right to go left when they exit the Cemetery Lane neighborhood each morning and afternoon.The long-discussed experiment to improve traffic flows on Highway 82 by eliminating a left turn toward town from Cemetery Lane will commence for a 14-day trial period.The restriction, to be enforced by flaggers, will be in effect from 7 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. daily during the experiment.In addition, streets and alleyways that connect to the highway along the S-curves will be blocked.The City Council approved the experiment Monday on a 3-1 vote; Councilman Terry Paulson was absent by that point in the meeting.Mayor Helen Klanderud opposed the plan, predicting increased congestion in the roundabout, as traffic from Cemetery Lane will have to circle the roundabout and double back to head into town.”You’re congesting the roundabout at hours when it’s most congested,” she said.But other council members said they’d like to try the oft-suggested idea for improving Highway 82 traffic flows at Cemetery Lane. In-bound traffic should have a continual green light while the restriction is in effect.”I think it’s important to find out if this can work or not,” said Councilwoman Rachel Richards. “We won’t know until we try.””I’m really glad that we’re giving this a try,” agreed Councilman Torre, urging local citizens to embrace the short-term experiment. “We’ll either move forward with it, or we’ll back away from it,” he said.But, as a condition of the experiment, the Colorado Department of Transportation wants the city to repeat it this summer when traffic counts are high in order to get a better idea of how well the changes work at improving Highway 82 flows.The two experiments together will cost the city about $82,000.Traffic data will be collected and analyzed for two three-day periods during the spring experiment. In addition, traffic will be counted on Power Plant Road to see if Cemetery Lane neighborhood residents are trying to use that shortcut.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com

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