Letter: An obvious answer for the Entrance to Aspen
The last time I checked, it takes 15 elected officials to make up the Elected Officials Transportation Committee.
According to The Aspen Times and Aspen Daily News, the combined representatives of Aspen, Snowmass Village and Pitkin County can’t imagine how to solve congestion at the Entrance to Aspen. It’s as if they’ve decided to ridicule the people in each of these three jurisdictions for ever having elected them.
The physical solution to the Entrance to Aspen is both simple and obvious, and it has been so for decades. That isn’t the problem. The problem is the collapse of representative democracy under the weight of pseudo-sophisticated indifference and the gutting of the citizen-initiative process by the courts.
Not a single official present at that committee meeting should ever again be considered competent to hold public office, and yet not more than a handful of local voters are sufficiently engaged to remember to vote against them when they run for re-election.
And then there are the print media. The Times used the occasion to peddle its favorite myth, describing the entrance as “an issue that the community has debated — and voted on at least two dozen times — for more than 40 years.” One could forgive the faulty number of votes as hyperbole, but the sin of omission is a lie, and this one’s a whopper.
When asked if they would like a four-lane highway at the Entrance to Aspen, city voters said “yes” by a margin of 1,740 to 816. When asked if they would like to expand the highway along the existing alignment or build on a new right of way across the Marolt property, city voters chose the new alignment by a margin of 1,475 to 1,042.
An expanded highway was never built on the new alignment because a mayor and two council members refused to respect the decision made by their constituents. Local newspapers obliged their abuse of democratic principle by ignoring it. In the world of Aspen’s totalitarian historical revisionism, the decision of the people shall never be spoken of again.
Fixing the entrance requires a new mayor and two new council members who will expand the roadway to four lanes and eliminate the bus lanes and S-curves so that highway capacity will exceed traffic volume. Voila — no more traffic jams.
Who’s it going to be? Declare now, and start running for office — the spring election of 2017 is not that far away.
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Richard Compton’s life will be celebrated in an informal gathering on Oct. 23 from 1-3 p.m. at the Pine Creek Cookhouse. All are welcome.