So much for progress | AspenTimes.com

So much for progress

Dear Editor:

The recent news article by John Colson in the July 3 Aspen Times regarding U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood caught my interest with regard to some of the comments made concerning Bus Rapid Transit.

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority is the second-largest public transportation system in the state, and it wants to emulate light-rail efficiencies in public transport. RFTA does an excellent job in transporting more than 4 million riders per year with its current bus system. However much RFTA wants its buses to operate like trains, it will never achieve the efficiencies of light rail on a dedicated right of way. That opportunity was lost when the rail was scrapped and the right of way was made into a bike path.

A one-hour trip to Glenwood was a common occurrence 60 years ago on a two-lane highway. Now we are gridlocked in many areas of the valley by the sheer numbers of autos, trucks and traffic lights. Today, traffic in Aspen is also at a virtual standstill, crawling through the S-curves and bumper to bumper on Main Street. Boy, have we made progress! Dan Blankenship states, “Rail service is not a near-term likelihood.”

So get on the bus, Gus, and don’t you fuss because light rail will never happen with that kind of “dinosaur” bus-only mentality at the top.

So folks, keep on crawling through our S-curves and the midvalley traffic congestion, or you can take the bus and leave the driving to Gus. In any event, you’ll never make Glenwood in an hour even if RFTA busses are on dinosaur power – that’s natural gas, folks!

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Jim Markalunas

Aspen