Who created the traffic problem? | AspenTimes.com
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Who created the traffic problem?

Dear Editor:So, it was a done deal all along; the recent Elected Officials Transportation Committee made that pretty clear. A vote on a four-lane from the new bridge to the roundabout in May, another vote on the straight shot in ’08, and another $100 million down Blankenship’s black hole for buses that people will continue to refuse to ride. Plus, $18,000 for Mick Ireland to try and get funds for a four-lane whether the citizens want it or not. (Perhaps Mick should consider running for office in Eagle or Garfield counties where the people he represents live.)The city’s much publicized community meetings were just what Ferdinand Marcos used to call a monkey show, and you were the monkeys. A callous attempt to divide the voters into squabbling factions to blunt opposition to the detested option. No wonder half the people walked out before the end of the meeting. With city employees going around to all the groups and basically saying “We’ve researched all your ideas already, and they are rubbish and not worth discussing,” it was hardly surprising the citizens could see the writing on the wall (or rather the expensive models the city brought to the meeting, all of which were of the straight shot).If you look at the 26 votes the local officials say are so confusing, they aren’t. The voters have said over and over again, “We don’t want more highways, we don’t want more cars, and we do want a really good public transit system. So what have these officials done? Built more four-lane highways, spent all their time approving ever-more development (whose signatures do you think are on all the building permits?), squandered about $150 million on buses most of whose riders are skiers, and used taxpayer funds to buy a seamless transportation corridor that they then proceeded to give away for a bike path. These people are not going to solve any problems, they are going to aggravate the ones they have already created.Oh well, as a visitor from Los Angeles said to me the other day, “You really don’t have a traffic problem at all.” Perhaps we should just forget the whole thing and find something else to discuss in the paper. If people want to make a fast buck out of Aspen, they’ll just have to learn to live with the consequences they create.Richard GordonAspen


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