An Entrance that benefits everyone

Dear Editor:The City of Aspen’s “informational” ads running in a local newspaper are a fairly blatant abuse of taxpayer money. Although they do not specifically recommend a particular vote, the ads are clearly intended to support passage of their bus lane proposal and have that result be an affirmation of the “preferred alternative.”That’s bad enough, but the spin in the ads is enough to generate electricity.From the ad: “If Aspen were to move forward with a new EIS process, citizens would need to revisit the current community objectives in order to bring forth a new solution. Any solution other than the Preferred Alternative would require a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and a new Record of Decision. This process would take approximately two years at an estimated cost of $2 million.”This explanation completely disregards the fact that determining whether the preferred alternative “best met the community objectives established with citizen input,” is a purely subjective judgment.For example, extending the existing highway from Buttermilk to Main Street via the Marolt property would best meet the project need and community objectives. Why? Because I just said so, just as any future city council could.To illustrate just how squishy these interpretations can get, shortly after stating that, “Though the highway system will operate under congestion, this congestion is considered part of the disincentive for single occupancy vehicle (SOV) travel and will increase transit usage,” the Record of Decision goes on to say this about the preferred alternative: “It is a balanced transportation system that integrates highway, transit, and transportation management solutions to reduce congestion and pollution.”Aspen doesn’t need a new EIS at a cost of $2 million, it needs a city council that can miraculously discover that a solution that only benefits transit customers is not “balanced,” and that “operating under congestion” is not the way to “reduce congestion and pollution.”Jeffrey EvansBasalt