Since we have to vote, vote for the S-curves
August 30, 2002
Why should it come as any surprise that Mick Ireland would put an Entrance to Aspen question on the Pitkin County November ballot that is identical to the city question?
Wasn?t it Mick himself who was the expert witness at City Council meetings when the entrance was discussed, addressing the council at length about the virtues of a straight-shot entrance?
Wasn?t it the same omnipresent county commissioner who gave hand signals and behind-the-scenes coaching to the three City Council members throughout the debates of this issue at City Council meetings?
As an Aspen resident, the commissioner has the same rights as any citizen to promote his cause. The pity is that the City Council allowed him to speak, not for three minutes as a citizen would, but at great length and repeatedly, and that the three straight-shot proponents on City Council have been working slavishly under Mick?s guidance to get us where we are today, which is this Hobson?s choice of a ballot question, without any specific information about either side of the entrance issue, without any solutions to the problems of traffic.
The traffic and mass transit issues will still remain to be addressed after the vote, whichever way the vote goes. No matter how straight the ?shot,? the same amount of traffic will still be barreling into Aspen, will still cause the same delays and congestion, if not at the S-curves, then at the subsequent stoplight.
The fact is that those hundreds of city voters who signed the petition (that the council has shamelessly nullified and dismissed out-of-hand) did not ask for this either/or ballot question that both the council and now the county are giving us.
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What was asked for in the petition was simply for the city to not give away the bucolic, pristine, dedicated open space at the entrance to Aspen without prior voter approval.
At this juncture, a sad one indeed for the democratic process, the only way both city and county residents can hope to preserve our bucolic entrance to town is to vote in favor of the S-curves.
No matter how the vote turns out, we will still have our traffic problems to be solved. But if we vote for the S-curves, then at least when we go back to the drawing board to craft a viable traffic solution, we will not ? before the solution was ever arrived at ? have unthinkingly and tragically destroyed, for all time, our irreplaceable natural beauty and resources.