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Tone down disco lights

Rebecca Driscoll
Aspen

(This letter was originally addressed to Aspen’s mayor.)

For several months now, it seems I cannot travel down Main Street with out seeing some poor sod pulled over by a police car with lights a-flashing. Maroon Creek Road is a full-time ambush of police cars lurking by the side of the road. Have we really become a town of out-of-control speed demons? Or is it possible that the policy of the Police Department has turned just a little too Nazi?

It seems that speed limits are deliberately posted 5 to 10 mph lower than the natural, comfortable, safe speed of traffic. I guess this is because that is a safe speed in the worst possible conditions. But under normal conditions, these posted speeds are unnatural, as evidenced by the flow of traffic. Most citizens know and drive this instinctive speed without having to see what is posted.

Maroon Creek Road from the roundabout to the track curve is posted at 30 mph. Everyone drives it at the safe, instinctive speed of 35 mph, unless they’re vigilant enough to spot the staked-out cop. If they fail to spot him, however, the disco begins. I feel harassed, not protected.

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I am not a teenager pushing the limit. I am a 37-year-old mother with two toddlers strapped in car seats in the back. I am not in a hurry. I drive at a perfectly safe and normal speed, like the rest of the citizens and tourists around me. Yet I get warning flashes from cops for going 28 in a 25 mph zone because the car is coasting down an incline. Fortunately, I have not got a ticket yet, but I don’t think it’s because I’m going slower than the poor innocents pulled over. I think it’s because I’ve been lucky.

I’m happy to live in a democracy, and if the majority of the town appreciates this rigid enforcement, so be it, but nobody I’ve talked to does. I think it gives off a serious, unfriendly vibe to tourists and harasses responsible citizens.

I’ve lived here 30 years, and it my belief that Aspenites want their police force to protect against criminals ” persons who are endangering public safety. If we are going 35 on a vacant, dry, pedestrian-free country road posted at 30, please ask the police to leave us alone.


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