Tim: 1, Mick: 0
I’ve read the statements made by Mick Ireland and Tim Semrau and would like to give you my 2 cents worth on these candidates.
The issues in the campaign seem to be: A.) The Entrance to Aspen B.) Employee housing C.) Retail development D.) Growth controls E.) Mitigation F.) Too many seniors in Aspen Let’s talk about one issue, the Entrance. Mick advocates the “preferred alternative” and so does Tim. So what separates the candidates on this issue? Mick says: “You have to have an Entrance to Aspen that encourages people to use the bus,” and “You have to give the bus riders a comparative advantage.”
Tim says: “The drain on our community caused by traffic is felt equally by locals and visitors and grinds away at the heart and soul of Aspen every day.” In addition, Tim outlined short- and long-term solutions including tweaking the lights at Truscott and Cemetery Lane during rush hour for the short-term and improving the aesthetics of the current design for the straight-shot for the long-term.
My 2 cents: I believe Tim has thought more about a real cure to the Entrance problem then Mick, and Tim has thought less about punishing car drivers. Advocating tens of millions of dollars to fix a problem and promising to keep the problem in place before the project is even started is hard to believe. I suppose Mick assumes that some bus riders will start driving a car if the Entrance is truly fixed. I maintain that a bus-only lane will have zero effect on bus ridership. People don’t ride the bus because there is a half-mile transit lane ” they ride it because it is convenient, they can’t park in town or they don’t own a car.
I give the edge to Tim on this issue.
The Aspen City Council directed staff to move forward with the Burlingame early childhood education center, but decided it needs more information on the affordable housing units that are part of the schematic design at a work session Monday.