Here it goes, one more time
July 4, 2002
There appears to be some major misinformation floating around. So here it goes, one more time.
In 1996 the community voted for a two-lane highway and light rail through the Marolt Open Space. Then, in 1999, Aspen voted to halt any more rail funding, essentially killing rail.
Responding to that vote, the City Council placed a question on the ballot of May 2001 asking voters to approve two highway lanes and two bus lanes through the Marolt Open Space, i.e. the straight shot. That question was defeated.
So was a question about a roundabout at Cemetery Lane conclusion … NO, NO.
Less than a year later, three of our City Councilmen, ignoring the voice of the people, proceed to transfer the right of way to CDOT anyway! And get this: the project will have two auto lanes, then two bus lanes which will be torn up when funding for rail becomes available.
Didn’t we just vote against all of this? Yes.
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Thus the petition (not ballot) that was circulating town.
Mayor Bennett, in the mid-’90s, asked his staff to compile a history of all the votes concerning Highway 82 and Aspen. I still have that hand-out:
The first vote asking Aspen if we wanted a four-lane (though not giving a specific alignment) was in 1970, and it was defeated.
Aspen rejected the four-lane six times. Aspen supported the four-lane twice.
Aspen rejected the straight shot in 1982, 1986, 1994, and 2001. The straight shot won in 1990 and 1996.
There were six mass transit votes concerning transit funding – four for mass transit, three against.
CDOT admits they have no funding for this project.
I am disappointed that our City Council has chosen to revisit this issue. It is extremely divisive to our community and the neighborhood that surround the alignments. We have more pressing problems in Aspen, like bringing up the bed base and organizing a town rain dance.