A ‘Band-Aid’ entrance solution
Dear Editor: I read that our City Council has just approved another $100,000 of our money to restripe and put new signs on Main Street (Aspen Times, Sept. 28). This is in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent over the last 10 or 20 years to study to death the entrance to Aspen. In addition to the expense, this “solution” will eliminate approximately 50 cars from parking on the north side of Main Street in the afternoon and 50 cars from parking on the south side at all times, a loss of close to 100 parking spots in an already terrible parking situation! In addition, the side streets and alleys will be permanently closed. All of this to maybe save 3.5 minutes on the bus ride!It appears to this writer that this is just another “Band-Aid” fix to the real problem. Let’s face it, Aspen is a successful destination resort! We are not the same small, quiet and remote mountain town of the ’60s and ’70s. We have numerous workers – office, construction, service personnel, etc. – entering and leaving town every day. Even if we are able to maintain the traffic count at 1993 levels, there is still too much traffic for the S-curves to adequately handle.It seems that the only permanent solution is a new roadway into Aspen. I suggest a new one-way, two-lane road, plus bike lane, for upvalley traffic aligning with our existing five-lane Main Street. In addition, the existing S-curves would be converted to two or three lanes and go one way downvalley to the roundabout, where they would then merge into a four-lane extension to connect with the existing four-lane highway near the airport. This would minimize the impact to the sacred Marolt Open Space and solve our traffic jam problem once and for all. In addition, it would help eliminate the pollution coming from nearly two miles of backed up traffic in the morning and afternoons!In addition to increasing traffic flow into town, we sorely need another parking garage somewhere in the west end off Main Street, the closer to town the better. This would allow many people coming from downvalley to leave their cars and walk to town, thus reducing traffic in town and help the current impossible parking situation.Let’s stop playing with expensive temporary solutions and solve the problem the only way, with a new highway!Gary L. GoldsteinAspen
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