Debate over roundabout continues
The construction of a roundabout on Brush Creek Road may be back up for discussion soon.
The owners of the Snowmass Resort Conoco, who feel the roundabout’s current design would impact access and parking at their station, and several of their supporters asked the Town Council on Jan. 5 to reconsider the project, saying it would hurt a longtime local business and wouldn’t solve any traffic problems.
From Dec. 17 to Jan. 5, Conoco co-owners Jeff Head and Jeff Jandegian collected signatures from close to 200 Snowmass Village residents and workers in an informal petition stating, “We the people of Snowmass Village do not feel a roundabout is to the best interest of our community.” They presented the signatures on Jan. 5 to the council, which is now going to have a work session to review the history of the project before deciding whether to add it to an agenda once again.
“We’ve come to the point on this roundabout that we need to hire a transportation expert and have them analyze (the intersection),” said resident Baxter Breaux, a friend of the Conoco owners. “Whether it’s Related’s money is neither here nor there. If it’s unwise, don’t do it.”
Resident Paul Fee noted that there have been no accidents at the intersection in the past five years and that traffic backs up most on Carriage Way and Wood Road.
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“(The roundabout) lives on,” Fee said. “It’s got a life of its own.”
Town engineers have said that the roundabout will alleviate the vehicle backup that happens on Carriage Way by keeping traffic moving below. But even town staff members are starting to agree that now is the time to settle this debate, said attorney Lance Cote, who is representing the Conoco owners.
That’s because while the town is in the final design stages of the roundabout, Related Colorado recently submitted a sketch plan of proposed changes for the Base Village project. Councilman Chris Jacobson said Jan. 5 that the concept of the roundabout, which the developer is required to build under the current approvals, should be discussed as the council reviews the big picture of Base Village going forward.
“I would suggest that you take the time to explore with Related, first of all if the roundabout is really, really needed,” Fee said. “The money … I think could be spent in a far more appropriate way.”
Other residents also raised concerns about the pedestrian crossings through the roundabout. Still others were most worried about the viability of the Conoco.
“We are worried about it impacting our business,” said co-owner Jeff Head. “I’ve got a 20-year-old son who’d love to come home and work at the station, but we’re leaving him out in the real world for (now).”
The Conoco’s two tow trucks have helped countless visitors and residents who get their cars stuck when the roads get bad, said resident Gary Rosenau.
The council is expected to discuss the roundabout at a work session in February.
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This weekend we go local. After the bacchanalia that was the Food & Wine Classic last week, we turn to Snowmass for a kinder, gentler wine gathering as the 19th Snowmass Wine Festival gets underway.