September 24, 2002
If Cliff Weiss is finished attacking Mick Ireland, Jeffrey Evans and myself personally via various letters to the editor, perhaps he and the rest of the voters in Aspen would be interested in some facts.
The modified direct alignment across Marolt/Thomas will save people time and will reduce both congestion and pollution.
From the roundabout to the intersection of Seventh and Main, the modified direct is 500 feet (20 percent) shorter than the S-curves (2,600 feet versus 2,100 feet).
Two general traffic lanes plus two transit lanes on the modified direct alignment would allow traffic to move 50 percent faster (increasing from an average speed of 16 mph to 24 mph) between Buttermilk and Aspen.
That translates into a total driving time reduction of 34 percent (from nine minutes, 21 seconds to six minutes, 10 seconds). The travel time improvements are due to elimination of the S-curves (yes, making two 90-degree turns does slow down vehicles) and removal of the buses from pulling into and out of traffic.
The source of this information on travel time and travel speed is a CDOT technical memorandum dated Oct. 29, 1996: “Travel Time Analysis ? Entrance to Aspen Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.”
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Multiply these time and distance saving by thousands of vehicles using our entrance every day and there are significant savings in fuel, travel time and major reduction in traffic back-ups, both coming into Aspen in the morning and leaving in the afternoon.
Clearly the modified direct is the best solution for our long-term traffic problems and will enable us to enact major transit improvements that the S-curves preclude.
Thank you and please vote for the modified direct alignment on Nov. 5.
Aspen City Councilman