An ugly bike path and traffic solutions |

An ugly bike path and traffic solutions

Dear Editor:In a town as affluent as Aspen, just what is the priority for handling Highway 82 traffic? I’ve been harping for years to eliminate all those stoplights, first on Cemetery Lane, again at the golf course, again at Buttermilk, and just 100 yards farther, the latest stoplight at the employee housing turnoff. So what does it cost to share with CDOT an underpass exactly like the one Jim Pearce built at the Maroon Creek Club-Tiehack turnoff? It’s landscaped and unobtrusive, and most motorists probably don’t even know it’s there.Excuse me? If we can’t afford that, how did we manage to build the atrocity – a cantilevered bike viaduct on stilts down Cemetery Lane? And what did that little gem cost, when there are literally no bikes on the overhead cantilevered wonder, and every biker I’ve seen is still pedaling up the road right smack in traffic! Is this called planning to spend efficiently? I don’t think so. We have money and we have priorities, and an elevated bike path doesn’t seem to benefit many people. Yet an underpass at Cemetery Lane would benefit a lot of people.Four lanes stopping at Buttermilk, and starting again one-and-a-half miles later on Main Street makes no sense. Let’s get CDOT to run Highway 82 straight into town with four lanes. Come on, Helen, and all you City Council guys and girls, get real. You’re going to kill the goose to protect our small-town flavor when any study or referendum (how many have we had?) will tell you to continue the four lanes into town. Or do we need yet another expensive $200,000 study and another referendum?How about this: Build a two-lane bridge through Marolt and over Castle Creek, running into Main Street, and keep your beloved S-curves as a two-lane westbound. That way you can preserve the small-town look with the S-curves, but not stop traffic. Cemetery Lane could exit only right or westbound with a loop back into the new two-lane eastbound. Please don’t make us go all the way to the roundabout to get back to town. (I think your recent experiment was a disaster.)But back to that white elephant, the elevated, cantilevered monstrosity of a bike viaduct that no one uses. Maybe you should have a cop out there to ticket any itinerant biker who insists on biking up the Cemetery Lane hill, ignoring that expensive bike path up above him? Mayor Klanderud, let’s get creative and lead. If you don’t do something to alleviate the traffic nightmare, we’re going to lose a lot of people who won’t put up with our charming town!And how much did the viaduct bike path cost?Mead MetcalfAspen

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