The Aspen City Council approved a plan Tuesday to ease the snarl of pedestrians, motorists, bikers and buses at the intersection in front of gondola plaza.
The $413,000 plan would add raised, brick-colored paving to the crossing of Durant Avenue and Hunter Street, with rain gardens and bulb-out curb extensions, aimed to slow traffic in the area and shorten crosswalks. When finished, the intersection will have a similar profile to the raised, colored roadway at the downtown corner outside of the Wheeler Opera House.
The plan will also move the Durant Avenue bus stop across the Hunter Street intersection, in the hopes of not blocking traffic and causing less congestion from the east side. The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority has found the stop problematic, city project manager Tyler Christoff reported to the council, and has accrued ten insurance claims from accidents there over the last year.
Three Durant parking spots will be eliminated by the recalibrated intersection, but council directed staff to evaluate whether they could make up the spaces elsewhere in the area.
David Corbin, the Aspen Skiing Co.’s vice president of planning, called the plan a “good solution” and said the company would cover the cost of adding a snowmelt system to the raised crosswalk, using its existing hot water from gondola plaza.
“We agree the intersection is kind of chaotic and uncontrolled,” he said.
Construction could be completed this fall, before the coming ski season.