Beeman: What are the unintended consequences? |

Beeman: What are the unintended consequences?

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

My family owns a home in Aspen, and I have been privileged to visit for decades. The conversation about the Entrance to Aspen has again resurfaced around our dinner table. A long career in IT and cybersecurity has given me a healthy respect for the law of unintended consequences. 

The proposed change would profoundly impact generations. The pros and cons of the current road and bridge are well understood — the town has lived with them for 60 years. Unknown are the consequences if the “preferred alternative” is built.  

The stated purpose of the “preferred alternative” is to decrease congestion and improve the quality of life for the town of Aspen. As years of highway widening around the country have shown us, bigger roads don’t lead to reduced traffic — only more cars. How does this help the town?

The proposal requires all downvalley traffic to pass over the new bridge, through a tunnel and then the roundabout. Access via the existing road would be gone. The tunnel is potentially a single point of failure. What happens in the event of a medical emergency if the tunnel is closed? A few minutes now could be an unacceptably long time with the new bridge. It is not a stretch to say this could be a life-or-death consequence.

A decision of this magnitude needs careful consideration and not a rush to judgment. All alternatives (not just the one being presented) should be revisited and carefully weighed in light of unintended consequences.  

Josh Beeman

Aspen and Philadelphia