Thrown under the bus by ‘ZG’ column
So my name cropped up in a “ZG” column in regard to my occasional occupation of driving a taxi – making it sound as though, while performing in that capacity, I was breaking some law by “double parking.”
The legal expert at the newspaper who dropped this comment into the hopper (apparently anyone who works at the paper can be “ZG” if their submission is used) should do a bit of research. Oh, I forgot, I’m talking about the Aspen Daily News.
Regardless, a perusal of the Model Traffic Code, which has been adopted by the city of Aspen, will reveal that dropping off or picking up passengers is not defined as stopping, standing or parking under the rules governing those actions, and is therefore not regulated as such.
This is why every courtesy van, taxi, limousine or private vehicle that waits parallel to the curb behind cars parked in the angled parking spaces along restaurant row on Hopkins Avenue are doing so legally. Despite the false impression created by “ZG,” what I was doing was hardly unique behavior on my part, or for taxi drivers in general, or anyone else working to serve Aspen’s customers by providing them with transportation.
There might be some issue on the amount of time it took for my customers to arrive, but that’s not under my control. Would the Aspen Daily News suggest that all of the myriad vehicles serving Aspen’s customers circle this or any other block until their passengers appear? That would be typically counterproductive, so perhaps a campaign on their part will receive a sympathetic ear over at City Hall.
The people who hired me were about to pay the full price of the cost of their ride, after having paid the full price of the cost of their meal (and accommodations, etc.). I was being verbally accosted for doing my job by someone from the Aspen Daily News who was driving a vehicle from Car To Go, one of the car-share programs provided by the city of Aspen.
So here’s a new homework assignment for the Aspen Daily News:
How’s the Car To Go program doing these days? They seem to be adding new cars to the program, so it must at least be paying its own way. From what I could see of the fee structure posted online, it would probably have been as affordable for “ZG” to have engaged a taxi for she and her mom – and there would have been one less vehicle on the streets during high season.
Oh, rats, now I’m over the 400-word limit for letters to the Daily News editor. Maybe they won’t print my response to their attempted character assassination.
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Trouble seems to plague the former Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park site in Basalt. The latest controversy is over the black fence that was erected three years ago on the site near the heart of downtown.