Dangerous decision | AspenTimes.com

Dangerous decision

Dear Editor:

Are you aware that the Pitkin County commissioners have quietly approved a duplicate new connector trail? It includes a very dangerous and expensive crosswalk/speed bump located at the bottom of the Red Mountain Road blind curve, steps up from the existing Hunter Creek Bridge up Red Mountain.

This raises the following questions:

1. Why are this new trail and crosswalk necessary when a very adequate trail and crosswalk already exist along Lone Pine Road? Beginning at Hunter Longhouse there exists a two-block path along Lone Pine Road, crossing Red Mountain Road where it immediately connects to the Rio Grande Trail. This existing crosswalk is highly visible. It’s also located at the crest of a hill where traffic naturally slows. It’s clearly much safer than the proposed new crosswalk. Any minor improvements to this link would cost less than 10 percent of the proposed project.

2. Is there a less dangerous design? Short of an underpass, any impediments at the proposed new location would only create more danger at this already treacherous and dangerous location. It is at the base of two hills and at the end of two blind curves. Nowhere else in the county do we have speed bumps under such problematic conditions. Imagine the potential of chain reactions with traffic trying to come to a complete halt under winter conditions, especially heavy trucks.

3. Is this fiscally responsible? The proposed cost is $250,000 (sure to overrun). Is there not a better way to spend this money? Improving the trail from the Marolt housing to the eighth Street pedestrian bridge would be welcome.

A call to action: Below are the commissioners’ email contacts. Please let them know your feelings on this issue if you wish to have your opinion honored.

• Rob Ittner – rob.ittner@co.pitkin.co.us

• George Newman – george.newman@co.pitkin.co.us

• Jack Hatfield –


• Michael Owsley – michael.owsley@co.pitkin.co.us

Commissioners, you serve at the pleasure of the community, not the open space boards. I implore you to rethink this hastily and ill-conceived project before final approval. Do the reasonable thing. Responsibility for resulting tragedies will be on your hands. There is no good reason to race to complete it this fall.

David Muckenhirn,


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