Good grief, more gridlock
Dear Editor:We have now lived through the summer with gridlock traffic almost daily incoming to Aspen through five traffic lights, a roundabout, and merging from two lanes into one lane. And Mayor Helen Klanderud continues to insist that “residents of Aspen” don’t want the “S” turns to change but prefer the “small town” flavor. Well, Ms. Klanderud, the summer has proved that any time you merge two lanes into one lane it stops traffic. And five traffic lights plus the infernal roundabout have only created more gridlock traffic at any hour of the day, both entering and exiting.Mayor Klanderud always answers my letters, saying Aspen residents prefer the “S” Turns, and along with the incredible construction this summer with massive 18-wheel trucks hauling steel along with the many cement trucks, this town is a massive, congested place to live. I go home through the West End, over Smuggler Street and under the bridge to Cemetery Lane, only to find it crowded with like-minded people who cannot stand the gridlock on Main Street. So now, I fully expect two, three and sometimes four blocks of “gridlock” on Smuggler Street trying to go under the bridge. It is infuriating to be blocked by traffic, just to appease Helen Klanderud and her poor taste.Does she ever ask for a referendum of people who live outside the city limits as to the traffic gridlock? Does she or her City Council members ever drive into town, stopping for gridlock traffic from Buttermilk into Main Street sometimes for 30 to 40 minutes? Does she understand what it means to merge two lanes of traffic on Main Street and again after two lanes circle the roundabout and must merge again only to face five traffic lights?I have suggested building underpasses at each stoplight location, similar to the underpass at Maroon Creek Golf Course/Tiehack entrance, but she doesn’t understand my questions and answers (in convoluted letters with big words meaning nothing) to my questions.I have been in business for 50 years, celebrating our Big 50th in early July with a three-day bash of parties for all my returning alumni and alumnae. I love Aspen: the summer symphonies and the winter skiing and the fall colors, but I’m about ready to sell out and leave. I don’t care for the city government and their strange, irregular policies. Three-story buildings (refer to The Mother Lode building or La Cocina or Snowflake-Limelite construction to witness what is happening in Aspen.) Or how about bulldozing and razing two or three old houses on Pitkin Green to built one gigantic mansion of 15,000 to 20,000 square feet?Something is changing in Aspen these days. There are 50 to 60 business jets parked at the airport! Maybe it is time to sell out and leave.Mead MetcalfAspen
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Aspen’s Christmas season may be turning Red for all the wrong reasons. As numbers increase in Pitkin County, avoiding the state’s Red level will be “very challenging,” county epidemiologist says.