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Welcome, now SHHHH

Dear Editor:

A number of weeks ago, I received a proposal from the very enthusiastic Susan O’Neal. Called, “Operation Quiet Aspen,” according to the literature, it is a grassroots campaign of advocates who wish to reduce vehicular noise in Aspen by educating the public through a BLITZ of media to emphasize the importance of maintaining low vehicular noise levels for the benefit of public health and welfare, and to encourage obedience and enforcement of the law. The advocates listed 25 people including: Jeanette Darnauer ” she’s a quiet person; Lisa Markalunas ” quiet; Bill Dinsmoor ” not so quiet; and Sy Coleman ” definitely not quiet.

These advocates are requesting funding from City Council to educate “the noisy” about becoming “the quiet.” Those funds, according to O’Neal, would be spent on:



1) Notices in both local newspapers every Friday from June through September.

2) GrassRoots TV bulletin board notice on TV throughout summer.




3) Operation Quiet Aspen posters to be mounted in select locations throughout town.

4) An ordinance banner hung over Main Street from July 1 to 5.

5) Signs on Highway 82: “Noise ordinance enforced” instead of “in effect.”

6) Operation Quiet Aspen bumper stickers (which RFTA has agreed to use).

7) Supply of fliers to be given to vehicular violators of city noise ordinance.

8) Tent cards to be placed on hotel counters to remind public to obey noise laws.

While I see the merit in less motorcycle “revving,” I am not sure an all out BLITZ is the way to go. I mean instead of “Welcome To Aspen,” do we want “Could You Keep It Down?” In respect to the newspaper ads and GrassRoots ads, I don’t think those that “rev” are reading the papers or watching GrassRoots. Regarding posters and tent cards on hotel counters ” give me a break. And giving fliers to violators will only generate more trash to recycle. The bumper stickers on RFTA buses are, to say the least, interesting. Who better to promote quiet than a noisy bus? Finally, the idea of a banner over Main Street ” I mean, what says WELCOME more than a 60-foot banner telling you to be quiet, or else you’re going to get a ticket.

On one hand I understand and agree with those upset over excess noise. But, government regulations, ticketing, giant banners ” that’s insane. What if we just make a 10-foot sign of Susan with her finger over her mouth suggesting a quieter visitor is a better visitor. We could put one at the edge of town on the S-curves, and another maybe on the side of the new building next to the courthouse. Or, we could just be grateful Aspen attracts so many visitors ” in other words, we could chill.

Hey, here’s another idea: Instead of an ad campaign, we could make a movie.

Andrew Kole

Aspen