Why here is better than there | AspenTimes.com

Why here is better than there

Dear Editor:Another election, another possible charge against the S-curve? Why can’t the newbies grasp why the longtime locals here don’t want a straight-shot highway into town and don’t want to turn Aspen into just one more town like the one everyone left behind? (If it was so great back there, why do they decide to stay here?)Their former hometowns failed to institute any auto deterrents or growth control. They added more and more pavement, in hopes of getting ahead of ever-increasing traffic. This approach is guaranteed to fail its mission.The folks here decided decades ago they did not want to go down that route. Their success is obvious. If straight-shot fans succeed in growth-oriented goals (for people and automobiles), Aspen’s success will quickly become stellar failure. It won’t take much. If one looks around, one might note a very narrow upper valley, with limited growth potential and limited parking space. For half the year, it is a dead end.If they destroy the S-curve and speed up traffic, where will it go? Will they next request removal of Main Street traffic lights? I’m sure they’ll be asking for a wider Main Street. These will not be attractive, pleasant, or inexpensive solutions. Nor will they contribute to Aspen’s charm, beauty and uniqueness.Their idea of “improvement” does not mesh with that of the folks who have supported the S-curve in election after election.Perhaps they confuse improving traffic conditions with improving living conditions. I suggest that if you want to make improvements here, you get behind mass transportation and alternative transportation methods. And if anyone wants to get home faster at rush hour, they should try bicycles! It should reduce a half-hour rush-hour commute to 10 minutes and provide health and mental health benefits, too.Let’s hope all the citizens affected by this (and other) critical decisions start participating in the political process. And what ever happened to the free borrow-a-bicycle program the city staffers were looking into a few years ago? And speaking of charm, beauty and uniqueness, I will offer that the birds, bees, trees and, yes, the bears are like canaries in the coal mines. The paltry amount of rain we are getting is not helping. Water a tree today, and the next time you see a bear, offer him your best wishes.R. N. MagillAspen

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