A dangerous bus stop
Dear Editor:I recently moved downvalley from Aspen to Valley Pines, a great residential building next to the Mid-Valley Medical Center in Basalt.While I love living downvalley and relish days off when I can explore the many charms it has to offer its residents, I have made an unsettling observation about my new home. Like many people in the Basalt-El Jebel area, I still commute to Aspen to work every day and back downvalley every night via the RFTA valley bus system. I love riding RFTA. I applaud the dedicated drivers for their bravery on winter roads, and their patience with nonpass-holding passengers who have to nervously feed crumpled bills into the fare box as a line of groggy morning commuters forms behind. In fact, with out RFTA, I would be nowhere.That said, I would like to make an appeal to the powers that be to address what I feel is an alarming situation at the RFTA bus stop known as Sagewood. Having been born and raised in Aspen, I am no stranger to the perpetual discourse that goes on throughout the Roaring Fork Valley about transportation: Roundabouts. Stop lights. More lanes. HOV or SOB. I know that there is a lot of bureaucratic red tape involved in making these sorts of decisions. However, the Sagewood bus stop is so dangerous, something must be done before a serious accident occurs.The bus stop at Sagewood is situated on the downvalley side, around a blind curve, leaving pedestrians to basically guess as to whether they will have enough time to sprint to the median before another vehicle whips around the curve in either of the downvalley lanes. Then, standing in the 2-foot-wide strip of “safe” grass and snow in the middle, all heads turn the other direction to gauge the speed of the upvalley traffic which, in the pedestrian’s perception, will momentarily dip out of view before cresting a hill and whizzing by at speeds fast enough to blow your scarf off.To further complicate the matter, this location also serves as a school bus stop, and I have witnessed on multiple occasions young children with no supervision scampering across this four-lane nightmare. Watching this makes my stomach turn as I contemplate my helplessness were the situation to turn morbid in front of my eyes.With temperatures falling and nightfall approaching earlier, as the Willits area continues to develop and the residential population grows, the Sagewood bus stop needs a pedestrian-triggered stoplight. I am aware that valley citizens shudder at the mention of another light slowing them down, but I fear that if this location is not ameliorated very soon, someone is going to get seriously injured or killed.Susannah CyrusBasalt
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A driver looking to squeeze one last four-wheel drive up Aspen Mountain discovered that it’s not the ascent but the descent that poses a challenge.