City Considering Pedestrian Improvements to Highline Road, Brush Creek

A woman walks on the shoulder of Highline Road in Snowmass Village on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

The Town of Snowmass Village has its sights set on some safety improvements on Highline Road and a section of Brush Creek Road that will give pedestrians and cyclists a little more breathing room at the side of the road.

Director of Public Works Anne Martens presented an update on the project at a May 16 city council meeting.

The Highline and the stretch of Brush Creek between Divide Road and the Snowmass Mall known as the “Donny White Curve” are frequented by pedestrians heading between residential areas and the city’s commercial and recreational centers, as well as by cyclists on the roads through the city; both also have narrow paved shoulders and steep drop-offs.

Plans for Highline Road include constructing a 4ft asphalt shoulder along the side of the road where possible and narrowing the existing traffic lanes to around 11ft wide (lanes are currently between 11ft wide). and 11.5 feet wide, Martens said). Some security beacons could be placed at strategic locations.

In four or five sections where the side of the road is “extremely steep,” the city may need to build platforms to maintain the 4-foot shoulder, Martens said. If these costs are out of budget, the shoulder may be narrower in some sections. The city has budgeted $250,000 for the project and the current estimate is within budget, according to a summary of the agenda in this week’s advice packet. The cost will be confirmed when the project is launched.

Plans for the Brush Creek Road section known as the Donny White Curve focus on constructing a 6-foot-wide striped shoulder on the outside of the curve that would be protected by delineators year-round, according to the summary of the agenda and the presentation of Martens. . Traffic lanes would descend to 11 feet; they’re currently “12 feet or sometimes more,” Martens said.

The city has budgeted $660,000 for the Donny White Curve improvements, and engineers are further refining the outer curve alignment estimate. Although the alignment inside the curve is shorter, it could cost two and a half times the price of the outside curve due to certain safety considerations and the steepness of the slope.

Council members have long expressed safety concerns about these sections of the roads, and a draft community connectivity plan lists improvements to connections in the two areas as “top tier” priorities for implementation of trail and walkway projects.

The projects presented by Martens on Monday evening are slightly different from the priorities of the Community Connectivity Planwho mention ideas for a walkway along Highline Road and a “shortcut” between the Mountain View housing complex on Brush Creek Road and the Snowmass Mall.

(The widened shoulder on Highline would probably be an extension of the asphalt with some selectively placed delineators, but wouldn’t be a separate walkway altogether; the platform along the Donny White curve won’t really be a shortcut, but would improve safety on the road.)

This connectivity plan, which has been in the works for years but has been taken up in detail, is now approaching the finish line: City manager Clint Kinney told the meeting this week that an ordinance could come back to the council for adoption of the plan in “the very, very near future.”


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