Trolleys fill the void
April 5, 2002
Aspen has had a policy of “disincentive” to the automobile. Thus, parking has become increasingly scarce and is continually squeezed out, parking is expensive, and parking tickets are “through the ceiling.”
This is not a “people or tourist friendly” policy and adds to the anger load against Aspen. (There is an “anger load” out there).
To fill in the void of an auto “disincentive” policy, huge, belching buses, out of scale with a small, exquisitely beautiful town, are provided along with a Galena Street “truck” to move people about the town.
Most very busy people “make do” with their cars, moving them from place to place. Fact: Each car statistically throws out 200 pounds of particulate a year; we breathe this into our lungs. Each car also stirs up dust and dirt. Imagine what a bus throws out yearly?
The disincentive policy is good. The actual “void” in transportation that easily attracts users is bad and produces very negative results in that we continue to use our cars and will not be forced out of them in spite of truck and bus alternatives.
A trolley, just serving Galena Street from the Clark’s Market/post office area up Galena accessing major busy corners in the center of town would access a major sweep of people that are now moving their cars from point to point all over town.
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A trolley passing every 5 to 8 minutes would allow people to use the parking garage and do their errands, or access the Aspen Mountain with their skis. Trolleys are socially “friendly,” fun, creating conviviality. That is my experience all over the world. I have never seen much conviviality on a bus or truck.
Trolleys, in keeping with the character of the town, are charming, actually draw people, as opposed to what we presently have that will NEVER DRAW people. Viable transportation must draw people out of their cars.
Trolleys add character to a town, which is why so many places want our trolleys, like White Horse, in the Yukon. White Horse is the same size and population as Aspen; it has an identical working trolley system and they want OUR trolleys.
Memphis, Tenn., accords the trolley with the revitalization of their downtown. San Francisco’s citizens “went ape” when the city fathers wanted to get rid of their cable cars – functional, a tourist attraction, a city symbol, and a built-in advertisement.
What do these and dozens of other towns and cities know that we do not in Aspen? Does this make any sense to you?