Seven reasons to vote for ‘straight shot’ | AspenTimes.com

Seven reasons to vote for ‘straight shot’

The entrance question is not just simply one of personal preference, but one with long-term impacts on our unique quality of life; commuting work force and future guests.

Please weigh carefully the impacts on the following:

1. Small town character: The single greatest deterrent to our small town character is our traffic congestion. The direct alignment offers the best and ONLY hope of reducing our unattractive and unwelcoming auto congestion.

2. Environment: Given the increased levels of emissions from idling cars, trucks and buses and the simple fact that a 15-minute trip from Aspen to Buttermilk spews more pollution into our air than a 5-minute trip, any true environmentalist should be a wild supporter of the direct alignment.

3. Historic West End: The S-curves currently transform our quiet West End into a hectic rat’s maze of traffic from 3 to 5:30 p.m., as drivers “dart and dash” to find an open corridor out of town.

4. Funding: A vote for the direct alignment assures state funding for the replacement of our two functionally obsolete and apparently physically obsolete bridges; i.e., Maroon Creek ($28 million), Castle Creek ($44 million).

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5. Future Mass Transit Options: Perhaps the most compelling reason to vote direct alignment is to preserve all future mass transit options as a permanent solution to our traffic bottleneck.

6. Worm-hole impact: The Snowmass Canyon four-lane will open a new era in our valley’s transportation ? the entire worm-hole effect will be placed right at our doorstep. The S-curves will be a traffic nightmare bottleneck with NO solution.

7. Mountains, not brake lights: With the existing S-curves, the only thing you can safely gaze at upon entering Aspen is the brake lights lined up in front of you. The direct alignment offers the exciting opportunity to actually see and enjoy Aspen’s spectacular setting.

A vote for the S-curves closes off all funding and future options for solutions to the traffic congestion to our small mountain town.

A vote for the direct alignment provides the funding and preserves all of the options for future design (i.e. eliminating the tunnel), for mass transportation, dedicated bus lanes, light rail and whatever future technology might offer us.

We have the unique opportunity to actually design and build an entrance to Aspen that not only meets our future transportation needs, but also serves to restore our small town character, improve our air quality, help our commuting Aspenites and truly say “Welcome” to our future guests.

Please vote thoughtfully.

Brent Waldron

Aspen

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