Our votes led to congestion
September 25, 2003
Give me a break. Now we are blaming the governor and some fat cats at Maroon Creek for traffic congestion at Buttermilk. Did anyone notice that this is where two lanes of traffic merge into one? It’s been backed up since the 4-to-2 lanes merge moved up valley to its new permanent location – Buttermilk.
The people of Aspen have had a policy for over 30 years that easy vehicle access into town is not wanted. We demanded from CDOT a two-lane highway improvement not the four-lane they proposed. The entire county voted last year to retain the S-curves and by default the narrow two-lane Castle Creek bridge.
As work on that bridge and a minor traffic accident demonstrated Tuesday, the narrowness of our bridges and much of the highway prevents easy detours around obstacles. The new light is an aggravation, but it is only a small piece of the mess.
The Club’s real sin is that they got away with what almost everyone here tries to do – keep cars out of their neighborhood. By appealing to the governor, they unleveled the playing field the rest of us play on.
My point in writing is to urge this newspaper, and everyone else, not to fall into a trap of believing somebody else caused our problem. We chose traffic congestion on Highway 82 through OUR votes.
As a county commissioner I will do all I can to get the Maroon Creek bridge replaced ASAP due to safety concerns. But the votes of the last two or three years tie my hands at doing much to solve the traffic backups we experienced Tuesday and throughout the winter.
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Pitkin County commissioner