Letter: Do something about the Aspen traffic
December 20, 2014
Do something about the Aspen traffic
Happy Holidays Aspen. Did any visitors, locals or commuters enjoy the traffic jam last night? I'm sure no one in it did, unless you have some great music, great company and appropriate refreshments for the cruise to nowhere fast.
This is to the City Council, the mayor, city/county managers and Board of County Commissioners: It is time to get out from behind your desks and see what is happening in this town. You are encouraging construction of new homes, retail spaces, hotels, etc., yet you expect all these people being added to the community to take the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority. We love RFTA, but by causing the pain of car use, as expressed by many politicians over the years, we who are stuck in traffic are feeling the pain. And really, America is and was built on the freedom of the automobile. You can see how well your pain campaign is working.
You experienced the pain of parking meters abused by petty thieves, but who can blame them, with the ridiculous cost to park your car and get paid 10 to 15 bucks an hour?
I am one of the lucky ones, I live in employee housing and have a nice place to park my car outside in the snow, but get to avoid the awful commute both ways day in and day out. How many of you who I am addressing this letter to actually ever get stuck in the traffic every day? I bet not one. And yes, it is awful for only a couple of weeks or so each year, but many of these folks stuck are our paying customers who deserve better. And most definitely, our commuters deserve a lot better. Yet you have all kept your head in the sand/snow (thank you, snow) and avoid the obvious.
Really broken-up one-lane roads in and out of a world-class resort does not say "world class" to me. A snively little roundabout that backs up especially when we close down one lane to allow Century Link to back up traffic for hours. And while I'm on it, why do we have the silly little HOV lane that the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office or Colorado State Patrol does not enforce? Is it mainly the passing lane for people doing 75 mph or more after being stuck in town for 20 or 30 minutes? And no one in it but the buses have a passenger. It is truly scary some days to drive on that racetrack. People slow down in Basalt, but they enforce the speed limit. Sorry Sheriff Joe DiSalvo, it's what I have seen.
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There is a lot more to say about these things, but just get busy and fix them instead of being locked away in your offices where I call and no one ever answers or I can't even get to you in person because you are locked away in the Yellow Brick building or in a hidden office in the Obermeyer building, like the director of Aspen Transportation. And you can't get in without an approved finger print. Really, guys? Aspen disconnect.
Come on, guys, join the community and work on the things we have all been asking for for years. I am confident you can do it. You managed to destroy 18 parking spots and build a building that is just being begged to be climbed by our youth. That building is a true monument to the use of concrete and chicken fencing.
And one final thing, council. I live in employee housing that is rapidly falling apart due to age. Well managed, but you can only fix flat roofs, 40-year-old boilers and leaking, sweaty, 40-year-old windows that create mold for so long. We have heard it'll be millions of dollars to repair. Maybe you can swing some of that money you spend on countless studies our way so we who have been here working for you for years don't go broke or have to leave due to the millions it will cost. I have many more problems you can work on, but lets start here.
And for any of you stuck in traffic, swing on by for binge watching of my bootleg copy of "The Interview." Just kidding. Enjoy the Aspen parking lot while you can, it may be gone in 10 years or so. Happy jolly holidays to all!
Retired Aspen Police Department and now Aspen School District bus driver, Route E. Please, parents, use the bus if you can, it will help some of these issues and the environment.