Give the road a rest
May 21, 2002
I would like to join the chorus of people that are against the new Entrance to Aspen. I must say right off that I’m building a house very near the proposed entrance, so I am not entirely impartial.
I knew of this proposal when I bought the land, but that was before the traffic circle, etc. I have only lived here a short time but consider it my home and hope to live here the rest of my life.
What has boggled my mind is the number of times, even before I moved here, the entrance issue has been voted on. I have even voted twice against it in the past five years.
My side has not prevailed, but the questions have often been based on only part of the question, i.e. buses, train, two-lane, another roundabout, etc., leaving us, who don’t want it at all, no choice but to vote those issues down.
I would like to see a few questions on a ballot which would say: Would you approve of the new Entrance to Aspen if it destroys wildlife habitat, including ancient trails of bear, coyote, deer and elk?
And a new entrance which destroys the last open space other than a golf course at the beginning of Aspen, causes encroachment on the historical ranch, covers one of the most beautiful stream beds in Colorado, and destroys one of the oldest homes in Aspen?
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Would you be willing to be backed up in a tunnel at a light at 7th Street? Would you like our guests and visitors (who we count on to shop, eat, sleep and ski) to come into our incredibly beautiful valley through a tunnel instead of around the magical curve which presents our little town so beautifully?
The curve makes everyone slow down to 25 mph, which we want them to do anyway. The new bridge of the new entrance will shoot people up a steep hill – on ice, on snow – to Main Street, or are the planners intending to build a new mountain on Marolt to accommodate the tunnel underground so the road and bridge will be level with Main Street?
And last, as others have said, do you really want to get into Aspen three minutes faster at a cost of $60 million?
I was amazed at the City Councilman last Monday night who was quoted in your paper as saying something like, “There are no alternatives, I have no choice.” There have been many alternatives offered: the roundabout at Cemetery Lane, the chance of a useful intersection for buses and different traffic alignments when the ranger station moves, a light at Hallam and 7th, and, of course, my favorite – nothing at all.
Also, the same councilman said something to someone about the money going to rebuild the Maroon Creek Bridge as part of the entrance money. Did he really mean that we are so daft we don’t know he could apply for funds to just replace the bridge without being tied to the new entrance?
Ever since I moved here our highway and/or streets have been under construction, and they still are downvalley. Let’s give Highway 82 a rest and see what happens.