Suggestions for the Entrance problem
August 12, 2009
I hope the City Council is serious this time about addressing the traffic problems associated with the Entrance to Aspen. We actually have two separate but similar traffic problems: One is traffic into the city; the second is traffic leaving the city.
While we wait for a plan to deal with entering the city, we can do something about traffic leaving. Let’s eliminate the bus lanes outbound between the roundabout and the Buttermilk light.
First, it will not add a significant amount to the time it takes buses to get out of town. My guess is that with two lanes of traffic flowing from the roundabout, buses would likely spend only an extra minute or two at most getting from the roundabout to Buttermilk. Second, with both lanes open to all traffic, the time for other vehicles to get from the roundabout to Buttermilk would likely be reduced by a significant amount. Third, if we reduce the amount of time for other vehicles to get to Buttermilk, we would see a drop in those vehicles either idling or going very slowly to Buttermilk and hence with the greenhouse gases and other pollutants they release into our air.
While it is not clear, it just may speed up the flow of traffic along Main Street and through the S-curves since there is always an evening wait to even get into the roundabout because vehicles cannot quickly get out of the roundabout and on to 82 because of the backup between the roundabout and Buttermilk.
The reduction in greenhouse gasses and other pollutants should by itself justify this change, IF the Council really believes its own Canary Initiative to deal with climate and pollution issues. It may not be a prefect solution, but let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good: Half a loaf is better than none.
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