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Posted on: May 18, 2020

City Seeks Input on Extending Commercial Activities into the Streets

PRESS RELEASE

City Seeks Input on Extending Commercial Activities into the Streets
Community can take survey and leave their comments on Aspen Community Voice

Media Contact: Pete Rice, Division Manager, Engineering, 970-429-2769 or pete.rice@cityofaspen.com or Mitzi Rapkin, Communications Manager, 970-319-2791 or Mitzi.rapkin@cityofaspen.com

ASPEN, CO – May 18, 2020 – In an effort to invigorate economic recovery downtown, the City of Aspen is seeking the public’s input on expanding restaurant and storefront activity into the streets in order to increase the number of customers served within health order guidelines and to create more diversity downtown for businesses, residents, and visitors.

All are encouraged to  learn more about the project and participate in the community survey at aspencommunityvoice.com. The community survey is open for submissions and will close for initial insights at noon on May 25 to expedite the planning process. On the project webpage, users can also submit comments, ask questions, and learn more about the initiative.

“We’re asking for input about helping businesses recover the lost capacity inside by extending commercial activities outside, into the public right-of-way,” said Pete Rice, engineering division manager. “We hope to use feedback from the community survey to provide direction so we can rapidly and safely deploy this pilot program. The key idea is to create a comfortable setting to enjoy summer in Aspen while actively supporting economic recovery.”

Because geography and business composition are different in each area, the options for outdoor commerce will vary. If streets are modified or closed, businesses would be able to participate by extending operations into designated outdoor areas in front of their existing storefronts.

Rice said, “There are geographic constraints to what streets can logistically be modified or fully closed. We understand not every area of town will offer the same opportunity due to safety and program administration. However, the goal is to get feedback on preferred areas for the City to target for this program.”

Initiative Goals:
•    Address COVID-19 impacts and provide relief to the community
•    Increase physical space to facilitate social interaction, community connection, and commercial activity while adhering to Pitkin County Health Order gathering guidelines
•    Implement a street plan that is safe for the public.
•    Facilitate economic recovery efforts through a transparent process with equitable opportunity for participation

Estimated Timeline:
•    May 15-24: Survey on street plan approach
•    May 25-June 1: Use the public survey results to refine street plan
•    May 27: Anticipated shift for Phase 2 Reopening of Pitkin County Public Health Order
•    Beginning June 2: Preparations for implementation
•    The City of Aspen will also evaluate plan with the shift to Phase 3 Reopening of Pitkin County Public Health Order

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