Driving us mad
Dear Editor:It happens so often in this area that many drivers probably take it for granted, but for a relative newcomer the aggressive driving around Aspen is mind-boggling. Small communities are generally relaxed and peaceful. What’s up around here?We recently returned from a four-day drive through much of New Mexico, where we found that virtually no one exceeds the posted speed limits and no one cuts anyone else off to gain an advantage.Things began to change around Durango on our return leg, where the pace of traffic increased dramatically, although drivers were courteous. By the time we reached Carbondale, though, we were nearly run off the road by a madman in a Jeep Cherokee who passed us and another car over a double-yellow line doing about 80.After seven months here, I’m now able to see it coming: the frantic racing to be the first to arrive at a red light, the stealth drivers who sneak up the right-hand lane between Buttermilk and the Roundabout to butt ahead of the rest of us, and their counterparts lurking in the left-hand, westbound lane of Main Street, waiting to cut ahead of everyone in the right-hand lane right where the street narrows. They tip it off.Driving home from work Friday night, I noticed a white Jeep Cherokee suddenly appear, out of nowhere, in my rear-view mirror, then cut in front of a car in the right-hand lane behind me to go into that lane approaching Brush Creek Road. I was planning to turn left, so I stayed where I was as the Cherokee pulled alongside. We were both doing around 55 mph. I knew what was likely to happen, so I wasn’t all that surprised when this moron abruptly cut in front of me to make a left turn, just before the light. Now, this driver with a Fort Worth, Texas, license plate bracket, could have stayed behind me or pulled back in behind me (There was plenty of room), or gone into the right-hand left-turn lane, but that probably would’ve spoiled the fun. By the way, the windows were black so I couldn’t tell if it was a man or woman. There’s no longer any difference around here.I’ve learned to let it pass, so I was angry just briefly as I followed the Jeep up Brush Creek Road until it turned off into the Horse Ranch development. But, I’m still curious as to what – if anything – goes on in the mind of someone who drives that way. Are these people who live life in the fast lane wherever they are, people who seek any opportunity to get ahead – even at the risk of causing an accident?And I wonder if the driver would’ve behaved any differently if I’d been driving a Range Rover or an Escalade instead of a Neon. Most of the nutty driving I’ve seen here has been by folks in SUVs and monster pickup trucks.Any ideas?Michael SullivanSnowmass Village
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