Can we talk? What’s going on between the airport HOV light and the new Buttermilk merge? The paving and yellow lines look great, but their actual effectiveness? Well, I’m not sure.
Somehow each morning a middle-lane parking lot is created. Yesterday it took me longer to get from the airport to Aspen High School than from Basalt to the airport. I spent the time in the HOV, “fast” commuter lane. OK, I know the new bridge construction causes a crunch into one lane and always is a stall. But getting beaten out from both sides by dueling merges at Buttermilk just isn’t my idea of a good traffic-control remedy, if you get my drift. Actually, I would have welcomed a drift. It would have meant that I was moving. In reality, my miles per hour didn’t even make the little pointer on my speedometer quiver.
While stopped, I was passed on the left by numerous drivers who were probably ordering lattes at Cafe Zele before I even got through the light. Many were HOVs with drivers too streetwise to be in the HOV lane, where I sat and sat and sat. I was passed on the right by a caravan of ZG plates. These savvy local motorists knew to drive through the airport slip, pretending they were getting a parking ticket, and then blow past the little shed. One was a neighbor, who left home after me, stopped to fill up with gas and ordered a breakfast burrito to go. She entered the commuter parking lot by aggressively merging in from the right lane, 10 cars in front of me. She was at work finishing her burrito before I was out of my car. I was passed by a motorcycle that just ran up the middle between lanes. I was passed by bicycles and passed by an elderly woman with a walker. I offered her a ride, but she refused. She needed to get somewhere in town on time.
Today I had time to write this letter while sitting in the car at Buttermilk! Tomorrow I’m writing a feature article, “Top 10 Things to Do in Your Car at the Merge.” PLEASE tell me this commute will improve. I hope I won’t have time to write my novel, “Merge Rage!”