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Support the bus lanes

Dear Editor:As a regular commuter between Carbondale and Aspen, I would like to comment on the upcoming vote in Aspen regarding the use of land adjacent to Highway 82 between Buttermilk and the roundabout. Aspen voters must decide if that land, which is dedicated open space, should be made available for transit use. A YES vote will allow RFTA buses to have a direct and unimpeded lane to the roundabout. It will get buses out of the regular traffic lane; it will save time for RFTA buses; and it will permit the construction, NOW, of the transit lane on the new bridge, saving approximately $500,000 by constructing the transit lane now. This issue does not affect any decision related to the “Entrance to Aspen” issue … that is yours to deal with another day!I choose to commute by bus for a variety of reasons:• I do my part (as one of thousands of daily commuters) to relieve congestion, thus allowing those who need their vehicles or those who have not yet learned the value of bus travel more room on the road.• I don’t have to find a place in Aspen to park a car, saving time and money.• I save approximately 10,000 miles of use on my car each year. • Professional drivers deal with difficult traffic and weather conditions, so I don’t arrive at work suffering from “road rage.”• I use the time to read, think, write notes to myself, visit with other “regulars,” watch the scenery … and,• As I watch the views, of Sopris, Pyramid Peak, the Roaring Fork Valley, I wonder how long it will be before the pollution in our confined valleys obscures the view, as pollution does in Denver, Grand Junction. I am pleased that I am, at least to a small degree, reducing my pollution contribution.• Aspen is a small town, and one can walk from one end to the other. Most of us don’t need a car, once we get “to town.”Many of Aspen’s work force live “downvalley.” It benefits all of us to allow RFTA travelers the opportunity to travel to and from Aspen in comfort and in a timely manner. Allowing a transit lane from Buttermilk to the roundabout will enable RFTA to cut approximately 10 minutes from the travel time to Aspen. The “bus only” lane on Main Street (thank you, Aspen!) has already contributed approximately 15 minutes to the time saved on the commute.I don’t have the opportunity to vote on this issue, which is important to me as a commuter, RFTA board chair, county commissioner, and longtime resident. So, I am asking you to give serious consideration to the issue and to vote YES to allow a transit lane from Buttermilk to the roundabout.Dorothea FarrisCarbondale


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