Support for four lanes? Prove it
Jeffrey Evans, our neighbor from 50 miles away, recently resurfaced with vows that he might circulate his own petition for a four-lane. In a letter in the July 24 Aspen Daily News he writes regarding the many votes on the Entrance to Aspen and his interpretation of the results.
Once again the facts are conveniently arranged for our digestion. Jeffrey refers to the vote in 1984 to illustrate his point of view but omits other ballot elections that don’t support his view. What’s more, the 1984 vote was a countywide vote. But the Entrance is a city issue.
In the city there are roughly 5,300 registered voters from county records that haven’t been purged since the year 2000. There are presently an estimated 2,500 registered city voters that still live here, of which 1,900 participated in the 2001 vote which rejected buses across Marolt, elected two City Councilmen, and our mayor.
Our petition has 802 certified city voters and 200 more that were not certified because the signers used post office addresses, were illegible or entered the wrong date. We also got more than 500 signatures from downvalley residents that realize that a straight shot with nine new signal lights will not save time.
One thousand Aspen voters are not a small group, and they will have the opportunity in future elections to express themselves on this issue and on our City Councilmen who believe they can ignore us.
Our opponents tell us things have changed enough since the 2001 vote (where bus lanes across Marolt were rejected) to vote again on four lanes including bus lanes as soon as this November. Yet somehow there hasn’t been change since 1999, 1996, 1993 and 1984, supporting the position that in 2002, Aspen voters don’t want a big city highway solution.
I don’t believe that a four-lane entrance has strong support in this city. In 1996, Aspenites voted for a train corridor and two lanes across Marolt. Did we vote for a train in the future or for the pavement? Did we envision that there would be a highway without a train?
Our City Councilmen choose to interpret the 1996 vote as an indication that the two lanes of pavement were approved and could be built even if a train corridor is never in the plans. Their plan is to build four lanes and call two a transit corridor.
If Jeffrey Evans wants a four-lane straight shot with HOV lanes (bus lanes in disguise) on the ballot, I invite him to go through the petition process. Four lanes of pavement don’t deserve the light of day if he can’t produce a significant number of registered Aspen voters.
The Aspen Times editorial was wrong to ask Jeffrey to stay on the sidelines. I hope Jeffrey has the courage of his convictions and circulates his petition.
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