Letter: Bulb-out on Galena and Hopkins
You may have noticed some new planters and temporary tape marking a wider curb on the corners of Galena and Hopkins. This experimental bulb-out is part of the Rethink the Street project. One of the City Council’s top 10 goals is geared toward making downtown Aspen more pedestrian friendly. Specifically, the goal is to have staff perform an assessment of city streets against best practices that prioritizes pedestrian access and safety and emphasizes the overall enjoyment and well-being for residents and guests.
Curb bulb-outs are a traffic-calming measure, primarily used to extend sidewalks, reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians and allow drivers and pedestrians to see one another better. They are meant to create a safer, calmer intersection and also provide an opportunity to create green, creative spaces. What you see at Galena and Hopkins is a temporary outline of what a bulb-out could look like and, more importantly, achieve at this busy corner where observers have noted drivers often run stop signs and some pedestrians report they feel unsafe. We are looking at the concept, not the design.
This is just one experiment in the coming months that represents what the council is seeking to achieve with its goal. You can see another example of a traffic-calming measure on Mill Street by the Puppy Smith Street intersection where temporary islands have been created to allow safer pedestrian and vehicle interactions.
We’d like to engage you on your ideas and feedback on the Galena and Hopkins corner. Come by the intersection from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday for ice-cream sandwiches and to learn more about the project from the Rethink the Street team. You can also go to http://www.aspenpitkin.com and click on “Rethink the Street” and “Open City Hall” to learn more and offer feedback.
We hope to see you Wednesday.
Community relations director, city of Aspen