Snowmass council takes on Base Village transit issues
The Aspen Times
The Snowmass Village Town Council on Monday favored experimenting with a two-way stop at the intersection of Carriage Way and Wood roads to try to alleviate some of the traffic on the town’s worst intersection.
The intersection was covered extensively in last night’s public hearing on transportation issues associated with proposed amendments to the Base Village project.
A similar idea put forth for the Brush Creek, Wood and Kearns roads intersection was nixed because the council agreed with the developer that grading needed at the site would be impractical to do more than once. The council last week favored including a final design for a roundabout at that intersection in the final review phase of the Base Village amended plan.
But testing the effectiveness of a two-way stop and traffic-control officers during peak hours at the other intersection would be easier at Carriage Way and Wood roads, because adding the signs would be the only change, said Craig Monzio, Related Colorado vice president of development.
Monzio proposed a test period starting after more development is completed, although Jim D’Agostino, president of Related Colorado, added that some analysis could be done as soon as the Brush Creek Road roundabout is finished to see how that impacts the flow.
Other alternatives Related proposed included the current solution of placing traffic-control officers on the street during peak times, which the company would pay for, and a mini-roundabout at the intersection. Councilman Bob Sirkus commented that he has a “philosophical problem” with addressing a traffic situation that occurs only 22 days out of the year with an ongoing solution.
“We agree with you, we do think this is maybe a bit too much,” said Monzio, referring to the mini-roundabout. “We think some kind of interim solution could work best for the community.”
Sirkus suggested looking into restricting turning movements on Carriage Way Road, particularly right-hand turns out of the Treehouse Kids Adventure Center, which are the source of much of the congestion on peak days during ski season.
Transportation Director David Peckler urged the council to still consider the mini-roundabout, though, citing its environmental benefits and its ability to keep all legs of traffic moving.
The other elected officials ultimately turned down the idea of restricting turning movements.
“The way that it’s set up, it might cause more traffic jams than it’s worth,” said Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk.
Next week’s meeting will start with a site visit to Base Village to look at the adequacy of pedestrian circulation within the arrival center, particularly a one-way escalator from the transit center where buses drop off to the Base Village level, and parking.
Parking concerns drew members of the public to comment Monday. Pat Keefer, a part-time resident representing owners in the Capitol Peak building, listed a range of concerns, including in regards to parking spaces set aside for the Mountain Club, an amenity in the proposed Limelight Snowmass hotel, and existing problems such as day skiers being allowed to park in areas of the Base Village garage set aside for residences.
“We’re not asking for a reserved parking space per unit, we didn’t buy that. We’re asking for the 0.75,” Keefer said, referring to the parking ratio agreed upon between the developer and town.
D’Agostino acknowledged the company hadn’t been enforcing the garage rules properly.
“We’ve probably been way too lenient over the past couple years because it hasn’t been used that much,” he said. “We need to button that up.”
As for the Mountain Club parking, Monzio said Related would work with Aspen Skiing Co. on an adequate plan to prevent any impact to Base Village owners. Monzio also said Related is proposing 44 more parking spaces in Base Village than the town’s Comprehensive Plan calls for.
The public hearing will continue at 3 p.m. next Monday. Elected officials and the public will start at Town Hall and move to Base Village for the site visit.
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