Don’t ignore the West End
August 21, 2008
There is a major traffic problem growing in the West End. A serious safety issue has developed as well as the destruction of peace and quiet in a wonderful old neighborhood.
The West End is a lovely quiet residential area with a diversity of charming single family homes. Adults love to stroll and bicycle through the streets, admiring the historic houses, as well as the interesting new ones set off by their beautiful gardens and stately old trees. Children enjoy playing in the streets without worry of traffic. The West End is a showplace, a critical element that sets Aspen apart from other Colorado mountain communities, as well as a great place to live, as we have, for the past 27 years.
The West End also is home to internationally renowned cultural attractions. The music festival, the Aspen Institute and the Physics Center, all give Aspen its character, international prestige and appeal. We are privileged to have these institutions, but they also bring traffic and many vehicles supplying goods for the special events. We understand this and appreciate its importance.
To add to this, there are hundreds of construction trucks that have continue to multiply in the last several years and exit through the West End, and the quiet desirable neighborhood is now under siege.
As an example, because of the incredible traffic at rush hour, our enterprising grandchildren, ages 5 and 7 years old, set up a lemonade stand at 25 cents a cup. In 1 1/2 they made more money than any of us dreamed. (As an aside, they divided their profits, with one-third going to Spellbinders, whose storytelling they had enjoyed on the top of the mountain that morning.)
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Additionally, we are deeply alarmed by the proposed humongous redevelopment of the lift 1A area and the increased traffic it will bring both in the construction phase and when the development is complete. If all of this traffic is channeled to exit on Power House Road, the onslaught on the neighborhood will be intolerable.
It is far beyond time for the city of Aspen to appreciate the importance of its long-existing and one-of-a-kind, beautiful neighborhood. This focus will assist the city to safeguard this important asset, and insure that the city remains unique in its place among the most significant mountain towns of the mountain west.
To ignore the problem and continue to accommodate new development without regard to existing traffic problems or the quality of life of residents, is to endanger that very same quality of life.
Cherish and protect what we have!