Straight shot the responsible solution
September 15, 2002
I live on the 800 block of West Bleeker. Both my wife and I like to walk and bike to town and avoid using our car as much as possible.
I wonder if the people who are so opposed to relocating the entrance to Aspen have ever tried to walk across 7th Street at West Bleeker?
If they did they would have noticed that in order to safely get across 7th Street from West Bleeker, it is necessary to walk up 7th Street toward Main Street, then down Main dodging cars, since there is only a partial sidewalk on the south side of Main which does not extend to 6th Street.
Once one gets to 6th Street it is possible to cross Main Street in a pedestrian crossing. Does this fit the description of a charming small town?
There is really no safer alternative than this four block “detour.” Please consider the many people west of 7th who have lived with the constant rolling of cars and trucks past the S-curves for years.
The increased congestion has led to more instances of road rage (just try to make a left turn from West Bleeker onto 7th), as well as constant noise and air pollution. Clearly, a modified straight shot into Aspen will provide much improved traffic flow into and out of Aspen, improved pedestrian safety and less automobile pollution.
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As a side note, I have observed many CDOT projects around the Roaring Fork Valley, one of the most recent being the roundabout at Castle Creek. When the roundabout was proposed and started there was considerable opposition, and in fact many of the same words were spoken about the roundabout that are now being expressed about the modified straight shot into Aspen.
The outcome of the roundabout with the improved traffic flow and aesthetic appeal is a clear indication that the proposed new entrance with its cut-and-cover design will be an overall improvement for our city.
I hope the citizens of Aspen can project into the future and do the right thing, which is to vote for improved traffic, safety and air quality by approving the plan for a modified straight entrance into Aspen. It is a responsible plan that is long overdo.
Kenneth A. Polse