Client: Town of Aspen
Location: Aspen, Colorado
Project Status: Complete Summer 2023

The intersection of Main St and Garmish Streets in downtown Aspen has become increasingly congested and dangerous over the past few decades due to intensified bus and car commuting. A lack of safe pedestrian crossings and sidewalks contributed to the need to update this corner, a major entry point to downtown Aspen. In late 2019, the City of Aspen conducted public and stakeholder outreach to identify needed improvements and simultaneously hired a local team to turn that vision into a design reality. Otak Engineering, ZGroup Architects and Connect One Design worked together to fulfill the desired outcome of improved traffic flow and pedestrian access, simultaneously implementing water quality improvements and multimodal transit connection best practices.

The final design for Garmisch Street improves traffic flow, providing a dedicated inbound bus stop with room for a second bus behind and an expanded corner radius. A new mid-block crosswalk and widened, detached sidewalk connections improve safety and access for pedestrians. The park side improvements include a dedicated electric Car-to-Go charging station, a large WE-Cycle hub, a restroom enclosure, and double the parking spaces using angled parking. Additionally, water quality is improved with porous pavers under the street parking.

On the south side of Main Street, buses entering Aspen will continue to drop off passengers mid-block at a dedicated bus pad. Widened sidewalk access will prevent circulation conflicts as passengers unload strollers, skis, bikes, and children. The detached sidewalk will increase the distance between vehicular traffic and pedestrians and create a safer route to the signaled pedestrian crossings for children headed to the nearby preschool.

On the north side of Main Street, outbound improvements are numerous. First, a raised barrier island outside of the dedicated bus lane will now house the flashing crosswalk beacon that was previously hidden by bus traffic. Additionally, the island will provide safe refuge for pedestrians crossing in front of loading buses to survey oncoming traffic before crossing. A new covered bus shelter, conforming to the greater RFTA aesthetic, has creature comforts such as heaters, wind barriers, cigarette, trash, and recycling receptacles, ski and bike racks. Water quality is improved as well with new underground utilities, porous pavers under the bike parking, and rain gardens which utilize runoff from the bus station eaves. Finally, extra benches provide a commonsense barrier to adjacent private property.

Design Elements

· Permeable Paving
· Sidewalks
· Platform Design
· Rain Gardens
· Bike Parking


· Conceptual Design through Construction Documentation
· Animated Video

Website Links

· Otak Engineering
· ZGroup Architects
· Landau Design
· Paepcke Demo Video