Some entrance suggestions |

Some entrance suggestions

(This letter was originally addressed to the S-curves task force.)

In order to get the optimal movement of traffic through the S-curves we need to try and organize the chaotic mess that now exists when people try to leave town.

We have established that single-occupancy vehicles must travel in the left, through lane, of traffic when on Highway 82. This rule needs to also apply in Aspen, starting west of Aspen Street.

The effect of mass transit must be given consideration when planning any changes to the S-curves. With as many as five buses driving down Main Street during rush hour (needing 250 to 300 feet of space to merge back into traffic), they can add substantially to the existing congestion.

These buses must be kept out of the traffic flow as much as possible to avoid further congestion. A high-occupancy vehicle lane needs to be established from Aspen Street west, so buses can pull away from bus stops without slowing down the main flow of traffic.

During rush hour traffic (3:15 to 5:30 p.m.), when buses try to merge back into traffic at Sixth Street, they create a major bottleneck. They could avoid this if they were to turn right after their last bus stop at Fourth Street, go down Fifth Street to Hallam, left on Hallam staying in the right-hand lane (to avoid slowing down the existing flow of traffic), to the Eighth Street bus stop. They would then finally merge back into through traffic after picking up their passengers at Eighth Street.

During rush hour, drivers are cutting through the residential areas to get out of town. Then they cut back into traffic on Hallam and Bleeker streets instead of continuing on to Power Plant Road. These drivers are taking unfair advantage of drivers that waited patiently in traffic on Main Street.

This also slows the movement of traffic at Bleeker and Hallam, when they try to merge back into traffic on the S-curves. Signage must be added to stop drivers from cutting back into traffic at these intersections.

Ultimately, to remove the traffic bottlenecks CDOT needs to add a third (through) lane, to both the Castle Creek and Maroon Creek bridges. This would increase the flow of traffic by roughly 90 percent.

In the morning, the upvalley traffic would use the added center lane for through traffic. High-occupancy vehicles would use the right lane. With the addition of proper signage and traffic lights, this would be reversed in the afternoon, so the center lane would be used for downvalley traffic, and the right lane for high-occupancy vehicles.

The hourglass created by the bridges will only continue to back up traffic in town; they need to be improved. Otherwise our efforts are in vain.

Your decisions will determine if it is more convenient and efficient for HOVs or SUVs to use Highway 82.

Ron Kinnell

El Jebel

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