No need for a four-lane? Yeah, right!
December 30, 2005
Dear Editor:Who are these ultra-conservative jerk-off NIMBYs who believe we will ruin the small town charm/character of our Prada/Gucci/Fendi-buying, tourist-driven economic sinkhole by allowing non-funneled access into/out of our fair burg?Apparently these backward thinking billionaires have never had to brave our SUV-clogged streets during our high traffic hours, although I don’t see how that is possible any more, considering nearly every hour of the day seems to bring traffic to a standstill anywhere from the airport to the Hotel Jerome, depending on time and direction of travel. Balancing work and family must not be an issue for these individuals, they can just kick back in one of 20-plus rooms in their 15,000-square-foot third/fourth homes and wait for the commuting masses to come service their needs. Therein lies the major problem. The NIMBYs certainly don’t pay our housing expenses, and nobody is dropping real estate prices in the Aspen area, so we as the working class are forced to locate to more affordable environs, and travel a once acceptable (20 years ago), now ridiculously crowded Highway 82, spending ever increasing hours trying to get to/from the tourist-driven economic center (and to the NIMBYs’ homes), which pays our bills. We are relegated to this up/down valley shuffle with no recourse. Because most of us do not live in Pitkin County, we are not allowed to vote on the issues relevant to our daily lives. When will the NIMBYs realize that a four-lane highway all the way into town is truly necessary? What will happen in 5-10 years when the population of Basalt grows fivefold? How many more residents will Carbondale have? Glenwood Springs? New Castle? Where do the NIMBYs think these people will be working, and how will they be getting there? Surely the multi-million dollar train debate is over, and blocking the West End streets certainly isn’t helping the congestion, so please do us all a favor, get off your butts and do something about our traffic problem! Reinstate the straight shot (idea), or come up with a feasible alternative, and get it started before automobiles are an antiquated form of transportation.Although I no longer have to make the commute every day, on those days that I find myself traveling with the masses, I realize that this letter is long overdue. I’m 99 percent sure this will fall on deaf ears, or get buried in bureaucratic B.S. for years to come, but maybe, just maybe, the right person will be reading this paper today, and something that should have been done a long time ago, will finally begin.John HembelBasalt