What travel modes were reviewed before the Preferred Alternative was selected?

Nine travel modes were analyzed before the Preferred Alternative was selected. These included: 

  • Unproven Technology: Transit systems that were under research and development at the time. They were screened out at the reality check level, as one of the criteria required modal options to be in revenue service to pass the reality check screen.
  • Personal Rapid Transit: A public transit mode using small, automated vehicles operating on a network of dedicated guideways. 
  • Commuter Rail: A heavy rail system (not a light rail) that requires a fixed guideway system and a separate right of way. 
  • Wire Rope Systems: Wire rope-propelled systems are like gondolas and chair lifts that require overhead cables and pole supports. Note: After the ROD was developed, wire rope systems using the drive under passenger cabins were developed (ex. Doppelmayr Cable Car). The capacity and trips that can be served by this technology are limited. 
  • Guided Busways: The mechanically guided bus system evaluated in the EIS operates in a U-shaped concrete track that guides the bus without help from a driver. A driver controls the speed and deceleration of the bus. This option was evaluated in more detail in earlier Aspen to Snowmass transportation projects. From a comparative evaluation, the mechanically guided busway was a relatively high-cost option versus the self-propelled bus and electric trolley technologies. This option was screened out at the comparative screening level based on the project objectives and key issues including cost, maintenance, and community acceptability. Since the ROD, new applications for guided buses have been developed using optical markings in the roadway and radar guidance. The new applications for guided buses involving optical markings will not work in winter conditions.
  • HOV: A managed lane that allows high-occupancy vehicles (HOVs) during all day and/or peak-hour. HOVs are self-propelled vehicles having a minimum of two or more passengers including the driver in the vehicle. 
  • Self-propelled buses: Two general types of self-propelled buses were considered (diesel, natural gas, and now electric). Self-propelled buses can be run in mixed traffic or in a separate managed lane. This option passed the comparative screen and is a component of the Preferred Alternative. It comprises the initial phase transit system.
  • Electric Trolley Buses: Electric trolley buses are essentially the same as self-propelled buses, but are propelled by an electric motor and obtain power from two overhead electric wires. Electric trolley buses are rubber tired and operate in mixed flow conditions. 
  • Light Rail Transit (LRT): LRT is a mode that runs on standard gauge rail. LRT can operate in a lane next to general traffic or even in the same lane (e.g., RTD in downtown Denver). LRT operates most efficiently in a separate, dedicated right-of-way. Power is provided by an overhead electric system in mixed flow conditions by either overhead electrical wires or a third electrified rail when they run in a separate right-of-way period. This option passed the comparative screen and is a component of the Preferred Alternative. It comprises the final phase transit system. This can be implemented now, however the costs of this system outweigh the available funding.

Show All Answers

1. What is the Preferred Alternative?
2. Why was the Preferred Alternative chosen?
3. What was the process for developing the 43 different alignment and lane configuration alternatives?
4. What challenges won’t the Preferred Alternative solve?
5. What travel modes were reviewed before the Preferred Alternative was selected?
6. Did the community vote to approve the Preferred Alternative?
7. Will there need to be another vote to move forward with the Preferred Alternative?
8. How long will it take to construct the Preferred Alternative, including a new bridge, land bridge(s), and new road?
9. What elements of the Record of Decision have been implemented?
10. What portions of the Record of Decision (ROD) are still outstanding?
11. Does the City of Aspen need to acquire a right of way through Marolt and Thomas properties to build the Preferred Alternative?
12. Why are CDOT and the FHWA involved?
13. I really like one of the other alternatives. Why can't I have one of those?
14. What was the process of choosing the Preferred Alternative (PA) that is described in the 1998 Record of Decision (ROD)?
15. Can the Preferred Alternative be modified?
16. Are any properties impacted by the Preferred Alternative?
17. What is the process for acquiring properties and is this included in the project cost?
18. Does there need to be another vote to change the Marolt-Thomas right of way usage to buses per the first phase of the Preferred Alternative? If so, who gets to participate in the vote?
19. When would a vote for this project occur?
20. What will happen to the 8th Street bus stop?
21. What will the 7th Street intersection be like?
22. How will people access the Holden-Marolt Museum?
23. Where will the pedestrian paths and winter trails on the Marolt-Thomas open space be located or moved to?
24. Would it be possible to include more than one land bridge?
25. How will emergency first responders get to Cemetery Lane from the hospital? Will they have to go all the way to 7th and take a left and go through the S-Curve? If so, won't this be longer?
26. Will the Preferred Alternative solve the congestion and traffic problems?
27. How will the new highway impact the experience or the view planes have coming into Aspen?
28. Why aren't we looking at 4 lanes instead of just 2?
29. If the City of Aspen doesn't approve the project what will happen?
30. Will the current Castle Creek Bridge still be used? If so, will it be repaired?
31. What will happen to Power Plant Road?
32. How long would it take to build the Preferred Alternative?
33. Would the existing bridge be useable while the Preferred Alternative was built?