Letter: Downtown not high-heel friendly
August 6, 2014
Dear and Mayor Steve Skadron and the Aspen City Council,
As the majority of you gentlemen (excepting Ms. Mullins) have likely not had the opportunity to walk in downtown Aspen in any type of pretty heeled shoe, you may not be aware of how treacherous it has become as of late.
Having experienced several turned ankles this week alone, I thought I might bring it to your attention that the brick pavers in much of downtown Aspen are impassible to anyone wearing anything other than a hiking/sports shoe or flat. Even with those, there are gaps and holes big enough to trap a smaller foot. Admittedly, being a longtime Aspenite, I tend to usually choose more rugged footwear, but on the occasion when for business or for a night on the town I wish to wear something dressier — say, a dress — those types of shoe choices really kill the outfit. I would challenge you to make it one block in stilettos or even a chunky pump without losing a shoe or a pertinent ligament.
Now, I am aware that these bricks are historic. Much could be done to improve their safety and passability with just some sort of filler between the large gaps and caverns. Some bricks are so heavily degraded they need replacing. I would settle for a strip of smooth sailing — a sidewalk-sized insert of smoother bricks with tighter gaps that maintain the lovely character of the pavers without maiming the better-dressed.
I’m sure the restaurants in the core also would appreciate their more coiffed patrons choosing to dine with them if safer access was restored, rather than picking a restaurant with heel-friendly sidewalks, like I usually do if I want to dress up.
During this week of working in the core I have found myself resorting to traveling in the alleys rather than endure more ankle turns, and I must say the view not the same. So please, I implore you to strap on some sling-backs and see for yourself, and then consider embarking on some emergency maintenance ASAP.
My ankles thank you.