Living Lab Project Summary:
Beginning on April 4th, 2016 and depending on the weather, the Castle Creek Bridge will be transformed into the location of a Living Lab Experiment. The Living Lab Experiment will temporarily modify the layout of the existing bridge to incorporate a widened sidewalk on the north side of the bridge giving vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists an opportunity to experience the new configuration and will allow staff to study the impacts of these modifications. Users of the bridge will have an opportunity to provide feedback that will be incorporated into a final design. The experiment is set to run through the end of July.
The design for improvements to Hallam Street will be in progress during the summer of 2016. The purpose is to improve the bicycle and pedestrian connectivity between Cemetery Lane and 7th Street, including the Castle Creek Bridge. Information gathered from the Living Lab Experiment will be implemented into the design for the improvements on Hallam Street, which are expected to be made permanent in 2017.
In 2014, the City of Aspen identified the Castle Creek Bridge and Hallam Street corridor as deficient link in Aspen’s bicycle and pedestrian network. The City of Aspen Open Space and Trails identified this deficiency as its number one priority project. In 2014, City Staff began the process of gathering information to implement the Connectivity Study to provide the best solution for improvements along the corridor. Surveyed information gathered by the City indicates the Castle Creek Bridge and Hallam Street together make up an area that people would like to see improved for both pedestrian and bicycle users entering Aspen.
City Staff worked with the Loris and Associates team to collect data, engage the public, and develop a conceptual plan. Public outreach has been esse
ntial to selecting and refining the conceptual design. To date staff has held:
- Two public meetings (July 10th ,2015 and September 10th ,2015)
- A Council work sessions (May 20th ,2015 and January 26th, 2016)
- Two Open Space and Trails Board work sessions (September 18th , 2015 and January 15th , 2015)
- Various stakeholder meetings with CDOT, RFTA, City of Aspen internal Stakeholders and Emergency Service Staff
City Staff will continue to engage with various stakeholders through the remainder of the project as the construction drawings are developed and construction begins. The study concluded that a critical section for the project will be to assess the
existing pedestrian crossing on Castle Creek Bridge.
A Living Lab Experiment will be implemented to allow City Staff and all Aspen Stakeholders a real life model to assess the benefits or improvements required to Castle Creek Bridge prior to fully developing construction drawings. The Living Lab Experiment will widen the existing sidewalk on the North side of Castle Creek Bridge beginning in April and ending in late July.
Construction Drawings will be prepared to improve the Hallam Street Corridor as the Living Lab Experiment is being conducted and the City is gathering further information on vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian movements.
Castle Creek/Hallam Street Connectivity Study
The Castle Creek/Hallam Street Connectivity Study follows the ideals of The City of Aspen Civic Master Plan (CMPAG) adopted by City Council in December 2006. The Plan states “Aspen’s future should be one in which the automobile plays a smaller role in people’s everyday lives. Other modes of travel should be made as safe and convenient as possible to facilitate that goal…the level of investment in…more and better bikeways and walkways should increase.”
This project will utilize professional engineering services to develop and determine the feasibility of improved pedestrian crossings, streetscape improvements, and pedestrian and bicycle connectivity into this corridor. Within the context of this project there are opportunities for the City to:
- Improve pedestrian safety through better pedestrian/traffic interactions, including treatments for high volumes of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
- Improve Aspen’s East-West pedestrian and bike connectivity
- Update and enhance Castle Creek Bridge connections to adjacent roadway, pedestrian, bicyclist infrastructure.
- Improve the existing bus stop locations
- Enhance pedestrian safety by examining existing crossings and pedestrian patterns
- Improve the crossing infrastructure including ADA accessibility upgrades.
- Engage the community and other stakeholders during the design process
- Improve the safety for users on Castle Creek Bridge