Get the facts straight |

Get the facts straight

Cliff and Stacey Weiss wrote a very long letter (The Aspen Times, April 25), but in their lengthy diatribe they failed to get any of the facts correct. Before they send me “packing” and vote me out of office they should do their homework.

1. The Cemetery Lane light gives priority to Highway 82. The light is only green for Cemetery Lane traffic for about 13 seconds. It is the S-curves, not the light, that holds up traffic, both inbound and outbound.

CDOT and the city transportation department have both anecdotal and factual evidence to prove this.

2. Local voters approved the straight shot in 1996. The election in 2001 was only a defeat for bus lanes, not the straight shot.

3. The S-curves cannot be improved. Read the “Record of Decision” and every CDOT study done on them. The Federal Environmental Impact Study does NOT clear the straight shot for four lanes of unrestricted highway and thus they cannot be built.

And, for the final time, we are NOT building an unrestricted four-lane highway.

4. Morning AND afternoon commuters will benefit because the S-curves slow traffic down to 5 mph. A straight shot will allow traffic to move more quickly in AND out of Aspen and reduce pollution and frustration, improving everyone’s quality of life: visitors, guests AND residents.

5. Terry Paulson did not receive anywhere near more the vote total of all the other councilmen combined. But if he won with 100 votes or 5,000, he still gets one vote on the council itself.

The Weiss’s might have also mentioned – again their letter was certainly long enough – that they live on Eighth Street, and thus they would be directly affected by the highway realignment. Before they attack local realtors and others for being self-interested they should at least make full disclosure of their financial and personal interests.

Finally, by my vote on Monday I simply wanted to fulfill the commitment a prior City Council made, and honor the will of the voters who have had enough of this silly bickering over the Entrance to Aspen. My constituents want this to end and I accommodated them.

On a personal note, if I was rude to anyone in the audience during (or after) the ETA hearing, or if anyone in the audience was rude to Mr. Weiss, I apologize. We can disagree on this issue, but we should try to be respectful, and again we should all have the actual facts before we make baseless attacks.

Tony Hershey

Aspen City Councilman

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