What (or who) is the true failure?
The mayor’s comments on Monday about the interrelationship of traffic to hospital expansion plans, i.e., “The round about is the Achilles heel here … it’s already failing …”, bear scrutiny not only for the inaccuracy but as further evidence of the total failure of this Ireland-led City Council to comes to grips with the underlying problem. A traffic engineer would point out that the term “failure” when applied to a segment of a road infrastructure has a specific meaning associated with gridlock directly caused by that inability of that segment alone to provide thru-put at discreet increments of time. “Failure” is not a consequence of a back up downstream that causes traffic to become grid-locked at the intersection.
Applied to the roundabout, there is no “failure” of that component, rather it is the well-studied rush-hour back-ups caused by the downstream flow of traffic com pressing into single lanes on either end of the roundabout.
And here is the crux of the problem, this incantation of elected city government that steadfastly refuses to spend any of its resources in further consider of traffic mitigation. For example, it will not consider innovative solutions such as creating a reversible lane over the Castle Creek bridge and its approaches or allowing construction vehicles to use the bus lanes, offering instead shallow and often demeaning rejections to deep-six the issue.
So if the mayor wants to speak of “the Achilles heel” or of “failure” he should be intellectually honest and look in the mirror.
Neil B. Siegel
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: The Colorado Department of Transportation gives Aspen’s roundabout a poor grade in terms of level of service so it’s thinking about making changes. But first, a study or two must be done.