Community input needed |

Community input needed

Dear Editor:The Aspen Skiing Co.’s recent official statement regarding the Entrance to Aspen raises a really important issue that should be widely debated in the context of both the renewed entrance discussion as well as the city’s ongoing study regarding appropriate infill and effective growth management.Skico advocates a pure traffic solution (the “preferred alternative”) to solve the “world-class gridlock” Skico believes is threatening Aspen’s economy and, apparently, the environment as well. The question this position raises is whether it is truly a conscionable environmental (or even an economically sound) response to employ what amounts to an engineering solution to the ill effects of growth. Said another way, the fundamental inquiry and debate that ought to occur is not limited to the narrow issue of how to best increase road capacity to make the vehicular experience more pleasant and less of a “hassle”; rather, the community should discuss whether it wishes to first identify, and then address, the actual source of the problem.A ballot question may be an inappropriate and inaccurate method of gauging community desires at this juncture: The Aspen Area Community Plan is out of date; the city of Aspen is in the midst of regulatory changes that may have the effect of reducing construction traffic; and Pitkin County seems to be out of the picture in terms of addressing its own contribution to the “cluster jam.” The city of Aspen has attempted to foster a community dialogue regarding these issues through the Core Beliefs meetings last year and, now, the Voices on the Entrance community group. Hopefully, at the conclusion of the Voices on the Entrance process, the city will then revisit the Aspen Area Community Plan wherein the community will be afforded the opportunity to comprehensively address its future. If necessary, appropriate ballot questions could be formulated at the conclusion of the plan update.Marcella LarsenAspen