Cut out the fee talk, limit Maroon Bells to 5 days a week |

Cut out the fee talk, limit Maroon Bells to 5 days a week

“’Aspen area residents who frequently bike Maroon Creek Road, however, should not have to put up with reservations or fees and should not be required to stop and take a test on biking etiquette before beginning their favorite workout,’ said Commissioner Greg Poschman, a frequent summer Maroon Creek Road bike rider.“ (”E-bike rental fleets, tourists targeted in Maroon Creek Road reservation, fee proposal,“ Jan. 19, The Aspen Times).

Many “locals” driving on area roads would beg to differ that road bikers riding two or three abreast know about etiquette.

What determines a “local”? Second-home owner? Third- or fourth-home owner? A frequent visitor that has a bike in the garage? Roaring Fork Valley locals, or Aspen locals only? Am I worthy as a Carbondale property taxpayer to be in the elite-fee-exempt cycling club?

Why is a local more valued than a tourist? Tourists spend money buying retail items, eating and tipping at restaurants, renting bikes from local shops, paying parking tickets, purchasing overpriced spec homes from the local dirt pimps, drinking wine and trampling the grass at local parks, and more. It’s safe to say we valley “locals” would not be here without the tourists and the money they bring to our tables.

Yes, there is room for improved bike etiquette. But! If Aspen really cared about the natural environment of Maroon Bells, mental health and carbon dioxide emissions, maybe make the Maroon Bells only accessible by bike all but two days a week. That would save the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority the loss of profit they claim to suffer from running that bus route, limit the need for more bus drivers and greatly reduce our local carbon footprint.

John Norman