Stop the accusations
October 23, 2002
I would like to comment on some things being said in the newspapers about Citizens for a Small Town Entrance and its supporters.
I have read that it is a self-interest group, supporting lies which consists of the same people who did not want the roundabout or four lanes on Highway 82; i.e., people who are “regressive” and cannot accept change in any form.
Self interest? No more so than some straight-shot supporters. Some people, on either side, will be very personally affected, for better or worse.
Since Aspenites are bright people, my guess is that everyone living on the S-curves supports the straight shot, as well as the opposite scenario. There is evidence of this in letters to the editor and in contributions. However, trying to accuse any group of self-interest belittles the issue.
Certainly the support ($17,000-plus financial and a substantial number verbal) for Citizens for a Small Town Entrance represents every part of town, including west of town and downvalley, and shows this issue to be an important one for all of Aspen.
Many people who want to keep the S-curves were supporters of the roundabout and supported a four-lane highway from Buttermilk downvalley for safety and efficiency. I heartily supported both of those changes and am pleased with the results.
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Citizens for a Small Town Entrance are not telling lies. We are a diverse group of people who, based on the information that we have, are passionate about our belief that a vote for the straight shot would be detrimental to Aspen.
We are representing the facts as best we can with somewhat confusing information from CDOT, the city and past elections. We believe the straight shot is environmentally unfriendly.
We feel that there are way too many unknowns for us to choose such an expensive, disruptive path of asphalt currently undefined (How many lanes? Lanes for what? Length of tunnel? How many lights?), and not demonstrated to solve current problems.
Let’s not make accusations. Let’s respect each individual’s and each group’s right to discuss, support and choose.