Letter suggests four-laning Highway 82 | AspenTimes.com

Letter suggests four-laning Highway 82

Aspen Times Staff

Four-lane highway advocate Jeffrey Evans has stepped up his campaign to force the state to make Highway 82 four lanes all the way into Aspen, without any mass-transit lanes attached.Evans, who has battled for decades in favor of the expansion of Highway 82 to four lanes as the best way to move commuting workers up and down the Roaring Fork Valley, has issued an emailed form letter for his fellow four-lane advocates to send to the Colorado Department of Transportation.The letter, addressed to CDOT Executive Director Tom Norton, is a plea to abandon what is known as the “record of decision” CDOT issued back in the 1990s, when the agency finished studying the alternatives for the Entrance to Aspen.The ROD contains a “preferred alternative” for the so-called “straight shot” option, which calls for two lanes of traffic and two lanes dedicated to buses or trains.The new stretch of highway was to be built from the roundabout, just west of town, across the Marolt Open Space and bridging Castle Creek, to connect directly onto Main Street.Due to a lack of funds coupled with multiple and conflicting local elections about the subject, the “straight shot” remains in limbo. CDOT decided last year that its documentation regarding how to proceed with highway design at the Entrance to Aspen was outdated, and that it needed to review and perhaps revise an Environmental Impact Statement and the ROD concerning the entrance issue.”State highway improvements must benefit everyone, the entire traveling public,” Evans states in his letter, which permits anyone to date it, sign his or her name and send it to the CDOT.The letter calls upon CDOT to conduct its ongoing re-evaluation of the “record of decision” in public, and issues a “demand” that the agency agree to “straighten and expand the current two-lane road to four lanes” with no provision for dedicated mass-transit lanes.

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