Giving the bus lanes a green light
The proposed bus lanes between the Buttermilk Ski Area and the roundabout, which voters will decide on May 8, make perfect sense for the future of Aspen and the entrance as we will know it.The addition of the bus lanes will cut five to 10 minutes off the time it takes public buses to get into town, and will enhance what we feel is an environmentally friendly bus system – the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority.Voting “yes” on adding bus lanes to this 1.2-mile stretch into town has no binding effect: It would not be a precursor to the “preferred alternative” for the entrance, despite what bus-lane opponents contend. None of the Marolt open space would be affected by the bus lanes.A “yes” vote also could save money in the future. By adding the bus lanes to the currently-under-construction Maroon Creek Bridge now, instead of later, taxpayers would not have to pay some $500,000 to put them in at a later date.Funding for the estimated $7.9 million project would come from existing moneys generated from the county-wide half-cent sales tax, so this would not create a tax increase or place an extra burden on taxpayers. As it currently stands, the fund boasts $12 million. Over the years Aspen citizens have gone to the polls on nearly 30 separate occasions to cast their ballots on something related to the Entrance to Aspen. It has been a frustrating process, to say the least. But we can rest assured knowing that the addition of these bus lanes would represent another piece of the puzzle known as the Entrance to Aspen solution, which has moved at the same glacial pace as rush hour traffic into town. With the bus lanes, the solution will take a step forward instead of yet another step back. On May 8, vote “yes” for the bus lanes from Buttermilk to the roundabout.
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