Don’t pave Rio Grande | AspenTimes.com

Don’t pave Rio Grande

Dear Editor:

To Dale Will and the Pitkin County commissioners:

I’m curious as to how your survey on paving the Rio Grande Trail was administered. How did you pick whom to survey? I never saw or heard of the survey, and I would have liked to have had my opinion counted.

As a longtime local resident and jogger, I treasure the long, unpaved, relatively level stretch of the Rio Grande Trail in question. It’s the only unpaved, level trail at this end of the valley, and for runners interested in protecting their knees and hips, that makes it an invaluable, irreplaceable asset.

I’m on that trail a lot, and it doesn’t appear to me that the fact that it’s unpaved is preventing bikers from using it.

In fact, I’m not sure how that trail could handle more use than it often had this summer. Between the many individuals and groups on bikes (including lots of kids), people walking – many with dogs – people jogging and occasionally people on horseback, the trail is downright crowded at times. Paving it might increase the number of people and would certainly increase the speed at which they’re traveling. It’s already pretty crazy at peak times on this trail, and paving it could tip it into utter mayhem.

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Judging from other bike paths up here, which the road bikers don’t use when there’s a road alternative, not many of them would use the Rio Grande Trail, even if it is paved.

Surely in these financially trying times there are better things to do with our tax dollars than to claim our full open space mill levy to take something irreplaceable away from runners in order to give the road bikers something that they don’t need!

If you’re going to take the full open space mil levy this year, I’m sure that there are many other projects more worthy of our tax dollars than this one.

Deborah Bradford

Aspen

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