RFTA’s lack of vision | AspenTimes.com

RFTA’s lack of vision

Dear Editor:The actions of the RFTA board, at their meeting on April 14, demonstrate a lack of vision by many of our elected officials valleywide. The purchase of the rail corridor by a prior coalition of valley governments was for use primarily as a transit corridor and was perhaps the most important step we have made in maintaining the quality of life the Roaring Fork Valley. It is unfortunate that the current leadership (with the exception of Aspen and New Castle) is unable to recognize the importance of maintaining this corridor in both a physical and legal sense with their recent vote to scrap the rails. The failure of RFTA to develop efficient mass transit solutions serves only to subject both residents and visitors alike to the degradation of our environment from vehicle and diesel truck emissions. On numerous occasions I have overheard guests at the Hotel Jerome comment on the diesel fumes that greet them as they exit the hotel. We deserve to have an efficient and environmentally sensitive mass transit solution that utilizes all of the available technologies, including rail, to protect both our environment and the residents who are forced to commute upvalley daily. Perhaps Mr. Blankenship would find a position with the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails staff more suitable to his interests, as he hasn’t demonstrated any conviction in developing valleywide mass transit solutions. Unfortunately I must inform Mr. Blankenship that a bike path alone does not provide this valley with any significant level of transit alternatives which are necessary to detach single-occupancy commuters from their automobiles. As was stated in a recent pro-Burlingame campaign article, thousands of people commute on the highway daily, but very few arrive by bicycle.Lisa MarkalunasAspen

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