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Shadow Mountain and bus lanes, yes

In addition to mayor and City Council, there are two more questions on the May 8 ballot (don’t forget to vote next Tuesday!).One is for a land trade at Shadow Mountain, wherein a homeowner gets a little strip of land so he can put up an avalanche fence, and the city gets a much larger chunk of land including trail easements. I haven’t looked deeply into this because everyone seems to be for it, including the city and the Friends of Shadow Mountain, and that’s good enough for me.The bus lanes between Buttermilk and the roundabout also appear to have general support, including that of the Friends of the Marolt. Opposition to the bus lanes is coming from Jeffrey Evans and his well-funded anonymous backers, in the form of full-page ads in the Daily News, a radio and TV blitz, and mailers. The thrust of the message is that if we pass the bus lane question we’ll never get a four-lane Straight-Shot into town, which Evans seems to think all of us really want despite past thumpings at the polls and a drubbing at the recent clicker voting sessions at the Wheeler.A few weeks ago I responded to a telephone survey about the Entrance to Aspen, which asked, among many other things (it was long), whether my impression on hearing the name Jeffrey Evans was very favorable, favorable, unfavorable or very unfavorable.If everyone voted as I did, that might account for the absence of his name on the ads opposing the bus lanes. I assume this query was backed by Evans’ group, Entrance Solution, and I wonder what ever happened to the results of that survey.Anyway, if the bus lanes will stop the four-lane straight shot, that’s a powerful incentive for me to vote for them.In my heart, I’ve always felt that the new bridge was doomed to be a component of some kind of highway system that is steamrollering closer and closer to the city gates, huffing and puffing, taking it one step at a time.I do not believe for one minute the claim that these lanes will cut 15 minutes of bus travel time, each way, from the bus commute, and I doubt that anyone else fell for that. Maybe five minutes. Also, voters have not been “educated” as to when the digging will commence, or how long it will take to get the bulldozing and paving completed.The new bridge has contributed to congestion, and so will this construction. How LONG, Lord?That being said, I’ll still vote for the bus lanes in the hope that it will put an end to the four-lane Straight-Shot and that whenever the lanes are finished everyone will just SHUT UP about the whole thing and STOP BRINGING IT UP AGAIN for at least another decade. By then I will be 80 and too senile to care.Meanwhile, to iterate my endorsements of the past two weeks, vote for Mick Ireland for mayor and Steve Skadron for City Council NEXT TUESDAY.Su Lum is a longtime local who hopes the new council will take a long look at instant voting. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.


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