Not a big-city issue
September 12, 2002
After reading Chris Tessem’s letter to the editor regarding his recent (and apparently very pleasant and positively impacting) excursion on I-25 South in Denver, I just cannot help but comment.
Aspen is a reasonably small resort town. Aspen is not a major city. Aspen does not have any freeways or interstate highways. As a matter of fact, in the winter, the state highway into Aspen goes nowhere beyond.
I don’t think we can compare that to many other places. I don’t want four lanes. I don’t want more lights. I don’t want to “spread the traffic volume out.” Traffic has to slow down somewhere and the S-curves accomplish the job superbly.
No one I know moved here because of the highway system or the “flow” of traffic. We moved here to leave highways and three to four lanes of traffic behind!
We moved here because the pace was slower and the enjoyment of life was enhanced than from whence we came. We moved here for the outdoor life. We moved here for the charm.
I agree with Chris on one thing: cars idling cause more pollution. That is why the straight shot will be worse than what we’ve got. There will be several more stop lights on Main Street where cars can idle all hours of the day … not just rush hour.
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Aspenites do not wish to keep anyone out. Just read the papers about all the things we want to change and improve to attract more visitors. We do care about those who commute or we would not have voted for all the recent improvements to the highway.
I think the commuters need to remember that they are commuting to a resort town, not a high-rise office building in L.A. We really just want to preserve the beauty of our town. We cannot do that by having a bigger entrance, more stop lights and a tunnel.
There are many reasons for our tourist trade decline, but the small town entrance to Aspen is certainly not one of them. Mr. Tessem can find many cities with excellent freeway systems where he could move if he wants more of that recent experience he had in Denver!