Change leash laws in selected open space and trails in Aspen during winter months

Responsible dog owners UNITE! It is my purpose to bring to light that the pedestrian (and biking) useage of many of our local area trails changes dramatically between the winter and summer months.  For example, the section of the Rio Grande Trail heading northwest after Stein Park is a place where dogs should be allowed off leash during the snowy winter months.  Useage decreases and there are no bikers on this section of trail when there is snow on the ground.  Nordic users with dogs can use this area as well more easily if dogs were allowed off leash. Hence lessening the dog traffice on the golf course and the Marolt Open Space.  Another area is the lower section of Hunter Creek Trail. Winter conditions on this trail can be icy and hazardous which makes navigation difficult and dangerous for trail users in the winter with pets on-leash.  The connective Lani White Trail for off leash dogs in snowy winter months, would also be less hazardous if dogs were allowed here off leash as well.  In addition, there needs to be a consistant nordic trail connection between dog-friendly areas.  For instance, the trail that crossess the Maroon Creek Road pedestrian bridge by the Aspen Chapel leading to the Aspen golf course and the Bernease Blvd, currently restricts dogs.  That forces skiers with dogs to take off their skis, walk down the sidewalk with pets on a leash and carrying their equipment, past the bus stop and across the road (no proper pedestrian crossing area) then to the Highway 82 underpass . This is unfair to skiers with canines. Please join me in my mission to help responsible dog owners and their pets be allowed to enjoy specific additional areas of their own backyard during the winter without leash restrictions.  We should not have to get in a car and have to drive to designated "dog-friendly" areas when pedestrian useage of many of our trails is down during the winter months!  By signing this petition it only states that you are "interested" in this community change and that your signature would be a voice among many to further proceed for hopeful change with Aspen and Pitkin County Trails and Open Space legislature. Thank You, now let go and LETS GO! Lara Lewis

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