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Aspen Police Say Barriers On Pedestrian Mall Not A 'Simple Answer'

Jan 2, 2020

A portion of the Aspen pedestrian mall after a November snowfall.
Credit Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

A driver was charged this week after striking and injuring a person on Aspen’s pedestrian mall on Christmas Eve. Aspen assistant police chief Bill Linn says the city has considered erecting barriers to prevent similar incidents in the future, but says there are reasons why it has not done so yet.

“It's not just a simple answer to say, well, clearly we don't need cars driving there, so we should block them,” Linn said.

 

Linn cited snow removal and delivery routes as reasons that vehicles need access to the pedestrian-only zone. He added that he’s seen unauthorized vehicles drive onto the mall before, and snow can make it especially hard to tell where the street ends and the mall begins.

“It is not that uncommon to see cars driving up in places,” Linn said. “Particularly on night shift. It's very common to turn people around and try to guide them to where they're supposed to be driving. And more so in the wintertime.”