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Castle Creek Trail Aims To Improve Ped, Bike Safety

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Courtesy of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails

Earlier this month, the open space and trails boards for both the City of Aspen and Pitkin County agreed to move forward with plans to build a trail along Castle Creek Road. It will run just under a mile between the city trail from the Marolt housing to the campus of the Aspen Music School and Aspen Country Day School.

 

Staff with Pitkin County and the City of Aspen say this will improve safety concern for cyclists and pedestrians, especially for students trying to get to the music school in the summer or Aspen Country Day during the school year.

“These are two highly valued institutions in our community and the thought of not providing safe pedestrian and bike access to that location, is a scary one,” said Austin Weiss, director of the city’s open space program.

The trail has been delayed since 2008; the first time officials started working on a trail through here, it ran into legal issues with property owners who live in Castle Creek.  Weiss and Gary Tennenbaum, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails director, both say those issues, which had to do with codes, have been worked out.

The six-foot-wide trail will run right along the roadside. Weiss said this will be sufficient for what the trail’s primary uses.

“We’re going to be seeing a lot of music school students carrying instruments walking through the corridor, kids on bicycle going to the Country Day School, those types of users,” he said.

 

Road cyclists will likely continue to use the roadway, and the plan includes wider shoulders, which Tennenbaum said will improve sight lines. There are also several measures aimed at slowing down traffic, including more formal signage about a school zone in that area and two new speed tables.

The open space boards have recommended that the Castle Creek Trail be included in the 2019 budgets; the requests goes to the board of county commissioners and city council in September.

Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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