Straighter, safer entrance is better
September 19, 2002
The opponents of upgrading/straightening the entrance to Aspen have recently been very vocal and, in my opinion, wrong.
First, if they are concerned about “open space”… I believe a realignment will ultimately have only a slight affect on the total amount of “open space” in the area in question. The design would be such that much of the space currently used by the road can be restored to “open” status.
Second, if the argument is that it will take away the “small town charm” of Aspen … I counter by saying that I don’t consider daily long lines of slow moving traffic very charming. Further, winter accidents and noise from downshifting trucks also don’t seem very charming.
Third, if they say the alignment it isn’t the business of anyone beyond the city limits … I say we must consider the needs of people who come here every day to work and enjoy the town. Clearly there are commercial reasons for making it easy for visitors to get in and out. I would also point out that the Castle Creek bridge will eventually need to be replaced with a safe, modern span.
Maybe the most important point is that it doesn’t make sense to have a nice, safe four lane road from Glenwood to the edge of Aspen only to grind to a halt in order to preserve an old, curving two lane road. To critics who say it will be ugly, I say I feel certain it can be designed in a tasteful manner.
Lastly, it seems to me that any reasonable person given a choice between a narrow road that curves and a straighter, safer road, would say a straighter, safer road is better. Let’s use good sense and support the straightening/improvement of the entrance.
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