One more new bridge needed | AspenTimes.com

One more new bridge needed

Dear Editor:We have not seen the worst of traffic gridlock. With over $100 million approved large construction projects plus all the small scrape and replace projects, it should be obvious to everyone that our infrastructure is over burdened.The residential West End is an alternative state highway at rush hours with all the big-city-like experiences of road rage, air pollution, etc. The well known shortage of parking and housing, especially during our peak tourist seasons, is a city wide problem which must be addressed immediately and put ahead of other considerations. Less known is the inadequacy of our storm water infrastructure and other as yet unfunded mega public works projects.All of our citizens are sympathetic to the economic benefits of tourists to our economy, but the legitimate interests of the silent majority are being subordinated to those of the more vocal and less then altruistic commercial factions. In the long run it is in everyone’s interest to restore more balance before it’s too late.Unfortunately “hot beds” also need bed makers i.e., lower income workers. These people need in-town beds or a timely means of commuting downvalley, both of which don’t currently exist. Requiring hot bed developers to provide in town affordable housing for 70 percent of their employees is both costly and insufficient. Why not 100 percent housing of new employees? (To correct a historical parking shortage the city of Chicago required condo developers to provide onsite parking in excess of their own needs).Fortunately, there is a lower cost alternative to requiring developers to provide in-town worker beds. They must be asked to patiently postpone PUD’s and other mega developments until we get a new Castle Creek Bridge to carry the rush hour workers downvalley. In the meantime Aspen’s businesses may be pleasantly surprised by the influx of new tourists from its already approved new rooms as well as visits from our new Snowmass town visitors.The citizens who voted to retain only the S-curves made a mistake and they now know it. I am heartened to hear that we may have two entrances to Aspen initiatives on the ballot this fall. If the city council does not like the two ballot initiatives for the entrance to Aspen, now is the time to initiate another ballot option this fall. Mick is the ideal can-do guy to get the old Castle Creek Bridge declared unsafe and a replacement fast tracked at the state level. Aspen is too important to the state of Colorado for the Legislature not to expedite the last mile of its four-lane highway from Glenwood Springs to Aspen’s Main Street.Bill PopeAspen

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