A little money, a big solution | AspenTimes.com

A little money, a big solution

(This letter was originally addressed to the citizens of the Roaring Fork Valley, Aspen City Council, Pitkin County commissioners and CDOT.)Dear Editor:Several months ago I contacted one elected official and two managers within our local government. A proposal was made to each of them offering to provide solutions which would reduce the vehicle congestion and resulting pollution which have made news these past many years.The elected official confirmed that over $3 million and perhaps more has been spent on traffic studies during the past 10 to 15 years with another $200,000 on a new study this year. The official’s suggestion was that we should reduce the number of vehicles on the road through legislation. I could not believe that an elected official did not realize that people’s habits cannot be changed by legislation but rather through education.My proposal would entail four parts and require simultaneous implementation. The recommendations are safe and legal, two primary concerns. I offered the three individuals I spoke with the opportunity for a written guideline and IF the solutions did not work a complete money-back guarantee. The maximum amount of hours needed to complete the task: FIVE. My most recent government consulting work was done under the same format. I completed the work in 3 1/2 hours and provided two additional questions and answers for that project which the government did not even know they needed to ask.The answer I received from all three people was that the government did not work that way and they could not authorize a nominal amount of funds to solve a decades-old problem which is only getting worse. I beg to differ with these three people who seem to have no creativity nor ability to think out of the box. Subsequent to my conversation with all three, I met with a Denver-based transportation consultant whose firm is hired to do multimillion-dollar work for governments in Colorado and nationally. He simply chuckled and stated that governments have discretionary dollars and this amount of money was available to any and all jurisdictions and should not even have been a question.Well the challenge is again put before you. If you are seriously interested in solving what you continually picture as a major concern for the valley, why not take the risk and see if in spite of the millions of dollars already squandered, a few thousand dollars or less may relieve this conundrum.By the way, during these same 10 to 15 years, multiple referenda in favor of a four lane straight route into Aspen have been passed and only one to maintain the S-curves has passed. The obvious, safest and most logical solution is, of course, the straight shot. Barring this, my approach will at least relieve growing congestion.Why not leave a legacy as forward-thinking, problem-solving public servants?Neil RossAspen