Letter: Bike lanes will improve safety
I have read with great interest the recent articles in the paper about restarting the bike path from Marolt Housing to the Aspen Music School and Aspen Country Day School campus. We have lived next door to the campus since 1969 when my parents started the Country Day School. We have always viewed bicycling to the campus as dangerous and have not allowed our children to bike on the road. We would always take our bikes to the hospital and bike from there.
Given that at least half of the bicyclists never use the bike paths, I am advocating for bike lanes, particularly on the uphill side of the road. Simply adding 2 feet of pavement and minimizing the ditch alongside the road will both maximize bicycle safety and minimize cost (both monetary and environmental). I believe that the bike lane is needed even if a bike path is built. In the winter, the bike lane will help keep cars from getting stuck in the ditch after snowstorms when it is virtually impossible to tell where the road ends and the ditch begins.
I believe that the county and to a lesser extent the city should begin planning for uphill bike lanes on all paved roads including Castle Creek, Maroon Creek, McClain Flats and Independence Pass. This requirement should be added to the county’s master plan for road improvements. Given the growing popularity of bicycling, it is important to improve bicycle safety, particularly on blind curves and winding roads.
I am also advocating for a short bike path to bypass the blind curve just past the hospital and directly connect Marolt Housing with the straight-away leading to the campus. This will also eliminate the extremely sharp turn off of Castle Creek Road onto the existing bike path connecting Marolt Housing and the hospital.
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