Buses are the solution | AspenTimes.com

Buses are the solution

Dear Editor:For many years we have seen the traffic getting worse, to the point of having RFTA buses being half an hour to 45 minutes late getting out of Aspen last winter. This winter we have finally seen an improvement in the flow of traffic on Main Street leaving town during rush hour. RFTA buses are now only five to 10 minutes down, getting out of town. The bus lane, installed this past winter on Main Street, has allowed automobile traffic to keep moving while the buses picked up passengers.The city is asking its citizens to vote to extend the bus-only lane, where traffic is congested going out of town, from the roundabout to Buttermilk.During rush hour RFTA has five to six 40-foot-long buses leaving Rubey Park at one time. This “commuter train” of buses over 240 feet long (the length of a city block) is full of passengers eager to get home. When these buses try to merge back into traffic, after picking up passengers at a bus stop, they bring the flow of traffic on Highway 82 to a standstill. This break in of the flow of traffic could be eliminated if RFTA buses could avoid moving back into the traffic after each bus stop.I appreciate the thousands of bus riders that have found a way to manage their time to fit RFTA’s frequent bus schedule. Without their commitment, our traffic congestion would be unbearable to live with. They have found that taking a bus is a reliable, economical and safe form of transportation. With the new urgency for the public to save energy, it is my hope that more single-occupancy-vehicle drivers will get on the bus, carpool or park at the intercept lot to avoid the back-up of commuters heading into Aspen.We could reduce our rush hour traffic jams if more drivers would take advantage of the free parking at the large intercept lot at Brush Creek and Highway 82, and take a 15-minute bus ride to Aspen. We had proof of this during the X Games. Over 70,000 people choose to take the bus to the venue, and there was no traffic congestion on Highway 82!It is time to stop playing politics with the valley commuters and vote for improvements to Highway 82 that we know worked this past winter. A vote for the extension of the bus lane will keep RFTA buses from merging back into our congested rush hour traffic after every bus stop along Highway 82. This will improve the flow of the downvalley automobile traffic.Ron KinnellEl Jebel

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