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Director of Transportation John Krueger Retiring After 25+ Years of Service
John Krueger, the City of Aspen’s Director of Transportation, is retiring on Dec. 31, 2021, after working for local government for more than 25 years. Krueger started with the City of Aspen in 1995 in the Parks Department. After several projects building connector trails to Aspen and others that partnered with CDOT, he transitioned to the role of Transportation Director and has been guiding the City’s transit efforts ever since. Krueger worked diligently over the last two and a half decades to offer our residents, commuters, and guests more transportation options and services.
“When I first came into the role, the expectation was less complicated and extensive,” Krueger said. “Back then, we didn’t have a lot of involvement with CDOT and grants, there was not a lot of involvement with RFTA, the City has a limited role with the Elected Officials Transportation Committee, and there wasn’t a lot of regionalism. There was just local bus service and a couple of programs.”
That changed significantly over the years. Krueger headed projects in Aspen that included permanent traffic counts on Highway 82, the Rubey Park remodel, electric bus ownership and service, bus stops at 8th St. and Hallam St. and Garmisch St. and Main St., implementation of Bus Rapid Transit, and the Maroon Creek highway bridge replacement, and community outreach programs to name a few.
Under his leadership, the City has applied for and received $14.7 million in grants and funding and added car sharing, We-Cycle bike share, and the Downtowner to its transit mix.
“Our infrastructure and culture wouldn’t be the same without John’s leadership,” said Sara Ott, Aspen City Manager. “He has been instrumental in turning Aspen’s transportation conversations and programs into a reality with positive impacts far beyond Aspen’s city line. We are part of a regional system that thinks about solutions for the Roaring Fork Valley and through the I-70 corridor to Rifle.”
He said of all the work he’s accomplished, the most memorable and impactful for the community is the remodeling of Rubey Park and electric buses. “No one remembers now how bad the old Rubey Park was, but we have a great facility now that people use every day, and we have millions of people moving through there every year. Also, when we first got electric buses, getting them funded was hard. There wasn’t a lot of interest and understanding about them and now they’re half our fleet. It’s huge for the community in terms of noise, emissions, the environment, and climate.”
While still a present issue, the Entrance to Aspen also had major pieces put into place under Krueger’s tenure. The roundabout, bus lanes from Buttermilk to the roundabout, and bus lanes in town are all part of the Entrance solution.
He said, “For the 25 years I’ve been here, traffic and congestion and small-town character have always been an issue. Maintaining that along with air quality and keeping Aspen a place where people want to visit is important. The discussions about the Entrance to Aspen are always there, sometimes in the foreground and sometimes in the background. I do think the community should start talking about it again. There are some opportunities with the federal infrastructure bill, and CDOT is working on getting more funding. The community and elected officials need to come together and figure out what they want to do about it. That’s the first step. We’ve done the easy things. What’s left are the hard things.”
Over Krueger’s tenure, he’s won several awards for Aspen from the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies, including Colorado Resort Transit Agency of the Year.
“John has always had the best interests of Aspen at the core of his work for the city while maintaining a great sense of humor,” said Scott Miller, director of Public Works.
“Aspen is so fortunate to have a community and elected officials who have worked hard to put so many successful programs and projects in place. My work here has been challenging and interesting. I’m grateful for the time I’ve spent here with great colleagues and leaders,” Kruger said.