July 16, 2002
In the recent past I have pointed out that Common Sense Alliance sets policy at The Aspen Times. All we need do is take a stand on an issue, and the Times comes out in opposition.
Never has their peculiar obsession with our group been more evident than in the editorial titled, “Entrance ballot must settle this issue once and for all” in last Friday’s daily paper.
In bending over backwards to find a way to disagree with Common Sense Alliance, The Times managed to come up with an editorial containing the following, totally contradictory, remarks:
“One more ballot question from one more group is specifically the last thing this situation needs.”
“Given the current circumstances, we think another vote on the matter is both appropriate and inevitable.” The Times then goes on to recommend “a ballot that listed all possible solutions,” and provides examples of several “possible” solutions; including at least one which can’t possibly be built, and another which is nearly identical to the proposal offered by CSA!
This is their solution to the muddy waters surrounding the entrance question – not just more mud in the water, but apparently egg on their face as well.
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In contrast, Common Sense Alliance actually did some research before proposing the one last buildable solution which has not already been rejected by the voters. HOV lanes are one of only three options, along with bus lanes and rail, which cleared the “Fatal Flaw” screening analysis in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.
HOV lanes were rejected on the basis of traffic projections which are no longer valid. The truth is, those traffic projections were purposely manipulated to eliminate the HOV option in order to appease the City Council of the mid-1990s.
Legitimate traffic projections based on actual conditions, combined with a City Council committed to following the will of the electorate, may be all that is needed to create a new entrance which actually eliminates Aspen’s version of the wormhole.
Due to our experience during the construction of Highway 82, everyone in the valley now knows what it takes to get a traffic jam: Take two lanes traveling in the same direction, and narrow them down into one.
The thought The Aspen Times can’t allow themselves to think is that both the two lane plus rail, and two lane plus bus lane options were rejected by the voters precisely because they do not solve the problem.
Perhaps a majority of voters in Aspen define “the problem” as totally unnecessary traffic backups which make the town appear far more urban than it really is, and perhaps they clearly understand what it will take to fix that problem.
The only reason The Aspen Times doesn’t want Common Sense Alliance to ask the question is because it doesn’t want to hear the answer.
Any Aspen registered voters willing to carry a petition can reach me at 963-4755.
Up the Crystal