Letter: A parking solution
Editor’s note: The following letter originally was addressed to the members of the Aspen City Council.
1. If anyone is aware of Aspen’s parking problem, it is you!
2. It’s only going to get worse! Aspen will face greater competition for tourist dollars as downvalley communities make themselves more attractive and as their lower-cost lodging comes online. A difficult parking situation in Aspen might cause those dollars to remain downvalley.
3. Shouldn’t a parking solution be inconspicuous? I doubt anyone wants an ugly, multistory parking structure. A proposal to hide such a structure beneath a park made aesthetic sense even if it failed for other reasons — economics being one. Someone told me its cost would have been around $100,000 per parking space. I guess a significant part of the cost was that of digging the hole.
4. Why not place a parking structure in an existing hole? What do you think about a large parking structure in Castle Creek Canyon immediately south of the Castle Creek Bridge?
a. Since only the top deck would be visible, maybe it should be level with the surrounding terrain and made into a park or forest.
b. Construction impacts on the core and its many activities would be minimized because it would be located at the very edge of the city.
c. Shouldn’t the bottom level be constructed high enough to preserve the stream bed and any historic artifacts present?
5. Free electric tram shuttles circling the core could provide low-impact transport from the structure. San Francisco’s cable cars actually add to the ambience of that city. Who knows? Done right, our trams might do the same for us.
6. Should the same concept be adopted on the north side of the Castle Creek Bridge for city and county office spaces?
Thank you for your service to our community. I hope these thoughts are helpful.