Proposed Snowmass Village transit center gets green light for next step
Three options for a proposed new transit center at the Snowmass Village Mall have been going through the review process for the past two months, and with that information officials have put together a fourth option they feel hits on all the concerns.
At the Town Council meeting June 17, Option 4 was introduced and while it has many of the features of an option presented previously, including the pedestrian waiting area in the middle, it has a few slight changes.
After a public open house and a number of online comments, “generally, option 1 (with the waiting area as an island in the middle) has become the preferred option, and we’ve been tweaking that as much as we can,” Snowmass Village transportation director David Peckler said.
Option 4 is the result and includes four bus bays for RFTA and six for the Snowmass town shuttles, walkways for pedestrians to funnel them into one crossing area and a design that will be able to take buses as long as 45 feet, said Alex Jauch of the consulting firm S.E.H., which works with governments on infrastructure designs and improvements.
The goal is to minimize the potential bus-pedestrian conflicts.
Since meeting with council April 1 about the proposal, there have been meetings with mall merchants, RFTA officials and operations teams and a public open house.
There was a lot of concern on the potential bus-pedestrian conflicts, Peckler and Jauch said, and how to get people from the mall to the transit station.
“Another key point was the pedestrian crossing and the conflicts, so with our (design partners) we’ve put a lot of investigative work into these concepts and what is the best way we can do that,” he said.
A combination of raised paving patterns, landscaping and designed walls are all “an effort to force people into the way we want them to go at one single pedestrian crossing.”
Jauch said the updated pedestrian crossing will help bus drivers know where the designated area is and will be on alert and “approach it more softly, slowly in those areas to look for pedestrians.”
The council approved of the new option and moving forward with further design work and costs.
“I think everybody has a lot of good community input. Thank you very much for taking all of the input and making the modifications,” Mayor Markey Butler said to Peckler and Jaunch.
The next step in the process is pricing the deck, which Town Manager Clint Kinney said is aimed at about $7 million (with about $6 million coming from the Elected Officials Transportation Committee and $1 million from grants).
Kinney said the 42,000-square-foot deck, which will extend out into part of the area where the current parking lot 6 is on Carriage Way, is about 90% of the cost.
The platform would extend out from the current RFTA depot on the mall and be 25 feet above where lot 6 is currently, and regular traffic flow for non-buses would go underneath the deck. There also would be parking underneath the deck to make up for the spots that would be eliminated with the structure going into the lot 6 area.
“The site is very challenging. It’s a three-dimensional puzzle that is not as simple to develop as one might thing,” Peckler said. “You have to take a lot of topography into consideration.”
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A six mile cross-country ski race brought 168 skiers to the trails between Snowmass and Buttermilk in 1971.