A small price to pay | AspenTimes.com

A small price to pay

Dear Editor:The two multicar pile-ups on Highway 82 near Shale Bluffs on Monday are unfortunate incidents that could have been prevented. These accidents would not have occurred if the roadway had been salted prior to the rapid drop in temperature. The problem is a conflict between environmental policy and public safety.Pitkin County has chosen not to use salt in order to protect the river and the foliage near the road. Both public safety and environmental protection are worthy objectives. When the two clash, the most reasonable strategy is to look for a compromise.Our public safety officials can easily identify those areas (like the Shale Bluff area) where dangerous black ice is likely to form. If salt distribution were limited to these areas, many future traffic accidents would be prevented, and the environmental damage would be minimized. A small increase in the amount of salt in the river would not be too high a price to pay for preventing future accidents and saving lives.Peter W. FreyCarbondale