Dear Editor:On behalf of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) passengers and bus drivers, I’d like to thank the Aspen voters for strongly supporting the Buttermilk to roundabout bus lanes in the recent election. It is apparent that the community is ready for improvements to Highway 82 that will help to reduce auto congestion. Thanks also to everyone who wrote letters and articles pointing out the benefits. The impacts to the community are anticipated to be great and will pay dividends in the long run: Reduced transit commute times in and out of Aspen: On average, about 15 minutes will be saved in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon. Decreased congestion and idling, which will result in: improved traffic flow, less air pollution, less gas used and less money spent on fuel. Increased incentive to ride the bus in an “express lane,” ultimately resulting in more bus riders and fewer cars on the road. Decreased driver stress (for cars and buses) resulting in safer roads and better community health. Improved quality of life for those in the upper valley as well as for those traveling from down valley. Reduced construction costs of approximately $500,000 – money that won’t be spent on constructing then removing a wide concrete median on the Maroon Creek Bridge. Improved emergency vehicle access. Enhanced connectivity with RFTA’s new regional Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, which will make transit more convenient by increasing service frequency and significantly reducing travel times.And best of all, this requires no new taxes. A win-win for all – the community, bus riders, RFTA, and anyone who drives in the upper valley. Thanks for your support!Sylvia CranmerRFTA communications and marketing manager
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