Council ‘okays’ mobility experiment

Jun 27, 2017

Credit Elise Thatcher

On Tuesday, Aspen City Council gave the “go ahead” for a mass-scale transportation experiment.

The idea is that throughout next May and June the town is set up in a sort of “make believe” version of how Aspen would function with less cars.

Ashley Perl, the city’s climate action manager, presented the idea to council Tuesday. It involves courting companies who deal in alternative modes of transportation to bring a demo to Aspen. She gave examples, like a public electric bike fleet or the use of “smart” street signs that would give commuters up-to-the-minute comparisons of the length of time to get to town in a bus versus their car.

She said the project is really just a temporary sampler platter.

“Whenever we say experiment the community says ‘Oh no, the City of Aspen is doing another experiment,’ which is actually code for ‘its permanent,’” Perl told council. “I want to tell you this is truly a lab because the scope that we are looking at here is so broad and is going to require so much funding and partners that we are not going to sustain the lab beyond this two month scope.”

Right now city staff is requesting $120,000, which would begin the process of public outreach.