Why the straight shot? | AspenTimes.com

Why the straight shot?

Mr. Weiss asks the City Council to disclose why it voted to honor its contract with the county and CDOT concerning the Entrance to Aspen. I can only speak for myself:Mass transit improvements are possible only by a new Entrance to Aspen.CDOT can only build a two-lane parkway; four lanes or HOV lanes are prohibited.Future light rail across the transit platform is the only permitted use.Until light rail is feasible, we have the option to utilize dedicated bus lanes. HOV lanes are not a possibility.After extensive staff research, it was proven to me that the S-curves can never reach acceptable safety standards and never accommodate significant mass transit improvements.We voted twice (’90 and ’98) to approve a new entrance with a better transit system, and in 1998 the City Council (including Terry Paulson) signed a contract with the county and CDOT committing to the land transfers necessary for the Entrance to Aspen. Subsequently, we voted down improvements to the S-curves, we voted down funding a valleywide light rail system, and we voted down funding buses across Marolt. As transit technology improves, we will choose in a future vote exactly what type of transit across Marolt will best work for our community.I voted to execute a prior City Council agreement because I believe the community wants significant mass transit improvements.Tim SemrauAspen City Council