The car is the problem
Dear Editor:The car issue is coming to a critical point in this town. All downvalley is pushing for a four-lane through the Marolt property and possibly parking under Wagner Park. Understandably so. They don’t live in or love Aspen.Locals devoted to keeping the S-curves are those who understand the alternative is the kiss of death – more automobiles, more pollution, a physically divided town. City Council in its brilliance is studying it once again, while a third-grade child could predict the outcome of any study.If you drive into downtown London, it costs $5, and parking costs as much as a hotel. Filling up my old Volkswagen bus with gas in Europe costs $65, most of which is a tax which goes toward (guess what) light rail and rapid transit.Members of City Council have been on the RFTA board and have professed an interest in solving the problem. The world is melting. The automobile is half the problem, and RFTA decides to do away with the existing light rail line. Insanity. What do we do? Nothing.It would be a shame to leave office without having the passion to pursue the right and true thing even though it was politically a disastrous course to take. Bill Stirling did, and it cost him dearly. But it was the measure of the man.Helen should have directed the city attorney to file an immediate injunction against the tearing up of the rail, then involve DOT and our Washington representative in this battle. Studying something means you don’t want to make the right decision and are putting it off on someone else.The car is the problem and there are immediate unpopular steps to be taken to solve this problem: a larger intercept lot, contractors providing vans from the lot to the work site, no students parking at the school unless there are four people in the car, double the parking fee, toll booths for nonresidents, solar battery chargers provided around town. The last will allow private entrepreneurs to set up emission-free shuttles everywhere. There are many other answers. Council just needs to get off their reluctance to do the right thing, and do it now.Those who voted to keep the S-curves must make themselves heard. If you have never attended a council meeting, you must go to the citizens’ comments at the beginning and tell them you live here, and need to be represented. Otherwise you are as guilty as council is.Then the Jeffrey Evanses of the world will succeed in destroying our town.Leslie HolstAspen
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