Lest we forget | AspenTimes.com

Lest we forget

Dear Editor:It is good to see the formation of the Roaring Fork Valley-based group, the New Century Transportation Foundation, which will be assisting with the development of nonauto-oriented solutions in what has become an increasingly crowded and congested corridor (The Aspen Times editorial, Sept. 20). Though letter writer Dick Prosence of Meeker (Letters to the Editor, Oct. 10) does not think much of the idea of rail as part of a transit solution to improve the mobility in the valley, there is no escaping the fact that eventually rail of some kind will have to be in the transportation mix if residents of the valley, and especially Aspen, are not to choke on automobile traffic. Mr. Prosence is correct that no transit system in this country, rail or bus, pays its own way, but neither do highways. Revenue collected from motor fuel taxes does not come close to covering the expense of building and maintaining roads.What rail can do is move a large number of people efficiently and reliably utilizing a minimal amount of land. Even though much of the valley may be rural, land is scarce and expensive, providing little room for cost-effective highway expansion, especially at the entrance to Aspen. Since one railroad track can carry the same number of people as four to six highway lanes, it makes sense that decision makers add rail transit to any future transportation plans serving the valley.Jon EstyPresident, Colorado Rail Passenger AssociationDenver

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