Aspen leaders create their own eyesores
Eyesore indeed (“Downtown Aspen’s unbuilt environment causing angst,” Feb. 7, The Aspen Times). The city of Aspen thinks the “under-construction sites” of Mark Hunt’s are an eyesore and the eyesore is something they want to pounce on. Really?
How about Aspen’s elected officials pouncing on this instead: Aspen’s biggest eyesores of traffic on Main Street, the entrance to Aspen and cars circling streets looking for a parking space. The neverending standstill line of traffic honks, smells, flipping of the middle-finger daily routine hellos, time wasted, climate change snow melt-downs and people in bad moods are Aspen’s true eyesores.
Can you imagine if a wildfire broke out in Aspen this summer with all that standstill traffic going nowhere?
Who gets out first?
The 1,100 vehicles entering and exiting town every hour, the 2,216 cars on West Smuggler, the 3,000 people living in affordable housing, the thousands of guests staying in hotels, the thousands of worker bees on buses, or the thousands of second-family homeowners?
Who would really care about the eyesore of those couple of “under-construction sites” in progress? Keep in mind Boulder County’s Marshall Fire, which sparked on Dec. 30 and burned more than 6,000 acres and nearly 1,100 homes in less than 24 hours. How many people can Aspen evacuate in under 24 hours?
Boondoggling a traffic solution by hiring a consultant to tell us, “Yes, adding another 2,000 plus residents to the Airport Business Center will increase traffic” is something we know already. Real-time solutions to the dangerous standstill of traffic in and out of town is what should be pounced on by Aspen’s consultants — not four to five “under-construction” sites.