Why not improve things now?
Dear Editor:Mead Metcalf, a long time prominent member of the community, has written strongly urging the removal of the existing stop lights at Cemetery Lane, the golf course (Truscott) and Buttermilk in order to alleviate traffic. He would substitute overpasses at those locations.We welcome Mead’s idea of removing the stop lights. We are inclined to think that the best substitute may not be overpasses, but rather at Cemetery Lane a roundabout, for which there is adequate room, and either roundabouts or grade separated crossings at Truscott and Buttermilk.These are actions which are affordable and can be taken now, as compared to the idea of building a new bridge through the Marolt Park and Open Space and over Castle Creek, which would take years, as Mead recognizes, and huge numbers of dollars which are not available. Also, any plan for such a new bridge would require a new stop light at Seventh and Main, which would only back traffic up and thus defeat the effect of removal of stop lights at other locations. CDOT has already found that a roundabout at Seventh and Main is not feasible in view of the confined space at the intersection.We support improvement now with incremental improvements, which can be implemented more easily and more cost effectively now. One has already been approved in the last election being the exclusive bus lanes from Buttermilk to the Maroon Creek roundabout. CDOT estimates this will reduce peak hour bus transit incoming by 10 to 15 minutes and outbound by 10 minutes.Collectively, these and other incremental lower cost, more easily introduced improvements will have a significant impact on our local traffic situation now – while still preserving our beautiful park and open space. Why not try them? What do we have to lose?Chris Davenport, SnowmassYasmine Depagter, AspenHelen Palmer, AspenDennis Vaughn, AspenEd Zasacky, Aspen
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State and local public health officials are actively monitoring for the presence of a new COVID-19 variant from South Africa, though it has not yet been found in Colorado or the U.S.