Strangling ourselves | AspenTimes.com

Strangling ourselves

Dear Editor:

Ten thousand building permits issued over the last eight years? (“Looking at the ‘State of Aspen Area'”, Sept. 17) Are you kidding me? In a town of 6,500? Is there any wonder that Aspen is one of the most polluted small towns in North America? I can remember, not long ago, when a handful of reputable contractors handled all the construction projects in town, one at a time. Perhaps the residents of Aspen wonder why cancer and respiratory conditions have skyrocketed in both humans and their pets.

Twenty round trips to Aspen this summer has had a net result of being stuck in traffic for over 20 hours to accomplish traveling a cumulative 60 miles, in the roundabout to Main Street commuter hell. On most of these trips, the once magnificent views from town have been besmirched by a noticeably thick brown cloud of oily smog. It’s also no coincidence that virtually every surface and pane of glass in town is coated with soot and dirt within just a few days of washing.

Perhaps the residents of Aspen should get a clue. Lobby your town council to restrict building permits to about 50 a year. Large projects such as the Limelite and the eco-disaster that is going up next to the gondola should be placed on strict, evening construction timetables to alleviate traffic impacts on Highway 82. Make the straight shot into town happen.

Of course, you can choose to do what you have done best for the last 25 years which is bring in even more construction vehicles than the town and it’s air can handle, and to strangle on your home grown, aerated cesspool.

Steve Avery

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