Perplexing traffic problems
Dear Editor:This letter is a repetition of many letters written to Mayor Helen Klanderud in the past three years concerning the Entrance to Aspen, the gridlock, nonmoving traffic entering from Buttermilk in the morning and exiting down Main Street in the afternoon.The situation has become intolerable, especially during the summer music festival. Rather than gridlock traffic from 7-10 a.m., it is now gridlock most of the day with 18-wheel semis delivering steel and cement trucks and dump trucks along with the summer guests attempting to enter Aspen.To ask Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to build a new bridge over Maroon Creek will take three to four years. A two-lane entrance through the Marolt property might make a cheaper bridge if outgoing traffic continues over the existing bridge, but it is important to get rid of the stoplights at Cemetery Lane, and the stoplights at Aspen Golf Course, and the stoplights at Buttermilk and build overpasses at Cemetery Lane and at the Golf Course, and at Buttermilk. This is critical to stop merging two lanes into one lane and placing a stoplight immediately following the merging.I wrote Helen Klanderud that the cost of the bicycle viaduct from Cemetery Lane down to the Slaughterhouse Bridge over the Roaring Fork River was insane and foolish. The money should have been spent to build overpasses and get rid of the stoplights. She trounced me royally and said I did not know what I was talking about. There is no one walking or riding a bike on the elevated viaduct. All bikers ride up the county road, and occasionally a few people will walk up on the viaduct.Isn’t this obvious that it was unnecessary to build the viaduct?I am in the process of selling the Crystal Palace after 51 years providing an incredible cabaret show in Aspen. And I am seriously considering selling out the Crystal Palace, the next door Grand Finale Building and my home on McLain Flats Road, and getting out of Aspen. The traffic is insane. Even driving west on Smuggler Road to go under the bridge, past the power plant and out Cemetery Lane is congested with 40 cars all stopped in gridlock because so many cars are leaving Main Street and entering Smuggler Road to escape.Something is wrong with this community. And how many years would it take to build a new bridge across Castle Creek to enter Aspen through the Marolt property? Doesn’t it make sense to build three over-passes and get rid of the stoplights?I am indeed perplexed at the city government’s lack of interest in entering and exiting traffic.Mead MetcalfCrystal Palace Theatre RestaurantAspen
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