Town moves forward with transit center upgrade plan
Snowmass Village is moving in the direction of remodeling its transit station on the mall to a concept that some have said resembles Aspen’s Rubey Park.
Of the three conceptual designs that town officials, council and residents have reviewed this month, option one — consisting of a central hub that combines all of the transit services into one island with a station in the middle — has prevailed as the majority favorite.
In an effort to gauge public feedback on the project, the town hosted an open house April 10 that drew about 35 people, most of whom live in Snowmass. Members of the town and project team, including the architects and engineers who developed the designs, also were present.
The town invited Snowmass residents and business owners throughout the village, with a targeted outreach to mall owners, town spokesman Travis Elliot said.
Despite a handful of comments from people suggesting the town “start over” on the redesign, Elliot said, the majority sentiment was in favor of the first option.
At a Snowmass Town Council meeting on April 1, the elected officials and transportation director David Peckler also indicated a preference toward the first option.
Asked at the meeting about his personal choice, Peckler offered, “Speaking just as me, option one because of the human space that it creates.
“It’s a trade-off on the amount of pedestrian bus conflicts, but how much space do you have to use that could be, let’s say, like a town park or a town square for the mall in and of itself? So this could be an amenity that adds to it.”
Peckler said each of the options as proposed offers their advantages and disadvantages.
“Like many things in life, there are trade-offs in all three designs,” his memo states. “We are looking for the best design that serves the needs of the community year-round and improves the convenience of using transit while bolstering its efficiency.”
The memo also notes the project’s major priorities are to position transit passengers on the same grade as the Snowmass Mall, maintain the town’s current parking inventory, improve pedestrian access to the mall and accommodate the “basic needs” of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and the village shuttle.
One question on the minds of many at the open house April 10 was: Where is the money coming from to fund this project?
The Elected Officials Transportation Committee, which consists of members of Snowmass Town Council, Aspen City Council and Pitkin County, funded $50,000 for the initial study of a transit station redesign.
The EOTC also allocated $6 million for the project, which Elliot said should cover “the vast majority of the funds we think it will take to complete this.”
While the memo states, “The goal is to develop a project concept that can be funded predominately by the funds available,” Snowmass Mayor Markey Butler at the meeting indicated a desire to not feel constrained by budgetary concerns.
Moving forward with the public feedback, Elliot said the town “will be following with the consultants to see how they would like to incorporate the feedback we’ve received so far into the design.” A meeting date had not been set as of April 16.
Conceptual rendering for all three designs can be viewed in full at http://www.tosv.com.
The Snowmass Village Recreation Center will offer free Nordic skis, boots and poles to rent this winter.