During the week of March 13-17, 2013, city crews around Aspen worked diligently to install new bicycle lanes on many of the Aspen streets. City government officials had previously voted to approve the lanes during discussion on how to ease the ongoing tension between cyclists and motorists.
New lanes are designated by white lines painted on select streets around Aspen. Other parts of town display an illustration of a bicycle with arrows pointing the appropriate direction. Motorists are encouraged to respect the new lanes and give cyclists plenty of room to ride.
Aspen, historically, is a bike-friendly town. Aspen and the White River National Forest provide spectacular and challenging terrain for mountain and road bikers. Aspen is rated as “Silver” by the League of American Bicyclists – only one of 214 municipalities in the U.S. with such a distinction.
And, most recently, Aspen has become home to the U.S. Pro Cycling Challenge, a professional event that has been coming to Aspen since 2011. Throngs of cycline fans flocked to the top of Independence Pass to cheer on riders, while many more waited for the exciting finish in downtown Aspen. In 2012, Aspen was the only location to feature a finish (Stage 3) and a start the next day (Stage 4). Officials are already planning the 2013 event, which will take place in late August.
Aspen City Council members identified improving bicyclist safety as one of its priorities for 2012-13, and the League of American Bicyclists agreed.
The League of American Bicyclists said that “it is essential [for Aspen] to increase the number of bike lanes and bike-specific signage along these roads to allow bicyclists of all skill levels to reach their destinations quickly and safely.”