Fix the gridlock
July 11, 2011
Enough of the traffic already! Are there any solutions to the traffic problem in Aspen? I think there are four possibilities, so before we either asphyxiate ourselves with exhaust fumes or the experience for our visitors, commuters and all becomes so intolerable (I happen to think we are at the intolerable level now) that maybe they will think it’s not worth putting up with it anymore and go elsewhere.
Maybe if enough people put pressure on the city of Aspen, the Aspen Police Department and CDOT, we could find a solution or at least something better than the existing nightmare. Right now nothing is being attempted to solve it, only a few traffic violations being issued for the inevitable angry motorist who sneaks into the underutilized bus lane.
1. Shoot out the traffic lights at the city golf course and Cemetery Lane (not that I’m planning on doing it but I’ve seen enough angry motorists to think someone will!). There is a way for cars using these intersections to still get on and off Highway 82.
2. Manually operate these two traffic lights allowing the traffic on Highway 82 more time to flow rather than the constant changing of these two lights which only exacerbates the problem. Rather than having policemen capturing the bus-lane violators, why not have them manually operate the lights like we’ve all seen in many other cities?
3. Charge a toll that is varied based on the time of day. Electric cars, scooters, motorcycles and bikes are free. London and Oslo and several other cities have this system and it has greatly reduced the traffic problems.
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4. Build the four-lane. Not my favorite idea since it would cost a fortune and would be a very lengthy construction process, but for the long term probably needs to be done.
Aspen is a very popular place and making the experience a great one when people come here is all of our responsibility. This is the one black eye that rears its head time and time again. Why can’t something be attempted?