Fitzpatrick: Wrong about Snowmass Mall Transit Center
Aspen Daily News opinion writer Mel Blumenthal would have you believe he resides in a tiny village in the Alps when he shares his alternative facts about what’s best for Snowmass Village’s transportation infrastructure.
The Snowmass Village that Mel moved to from California, the Snowmass Village that grew exponentially when he and others promoted the approval of Base Village, the Snowmass Village that ran out of parking decades ago and that has relied on its own public transportation system to accommodate locals and visitors hasn’t been small since the days of the fully operating Faraway Ranch!
Mel fails to recognize this when he bashes the town staff and the proposed Mall Transit Center infrastructure improvements.
More than a million rides are given by town of Snowmass buses every winter season and there are nearly 2 million skier visits there.
Mel would have you believe the Mall Transit Center project put forth by the government is gigantic and massive when it might be just what is needed.
The tragic part of this Mall Transit Center infrastructure story is how inflation has increased its cost. The Mall Transit Center was first proposed in the mid 1980s, and by 1998 the Elected Officials Transportation Committee had set aside $6 million for this project. By 2018, cost projections had doubled to $12 million. Post-pandemic construction costs are now estimated at $32 million-plus.
Mel now champions a downsized version of the Mall Transit project, which much like the Base Village parking garage, is undersized for the vehicles that use it.
This will not only delay the project but make it more expensive. This is not an alternative fact!
Pat Bingham Fitzpatrick