Letter: Another accident in waiting? | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Another accident in waiting?

Another accident in waiting?

The Aspen Daily News ran an article on Roaring Fork Transportation Authority safety on Tuesday, in which it highlighted the fact that RFTA buses have a speckled history. It begs the question: What does RFTA do to increase the safety for its ridership?

I have lived at Water View Condos, a 16-unit complex at the east entrance of Snowmass Canyon, since 2006. In the past eight years, we have contacted RFTA multiple times to address the safety of our residents who ride RFTA buses. Currently, the closest bus stop is at Watson Divide. From there, Water View residents face a three-quarter mile walk down an unlit, usually unplowed, Highway 82.

Personally, I have had a few near misses by cars and buses whizzing by at 60-plus MPH, who have a difficult time seeing anything, let alone a pedestrian. RFTA’s response (from David Johnson, director of planning) has been that it “does not wish to exacerbate the safety and comfort issue by adding additional stops on (Highway) 82”. He continued to say that any new stop must have “pedestrian-oriented signalized crossings, proper bus bays, proper walking connections, lighting, shelters and adequate acceleration and deceleration lanes. This would be a costly investment for residential location of your scale.” Translation: RFTA only builds quarter-million-dollar bus stops and our safety isn’t worth a quarter million dollars. When I pointed out that the turn-off at the entrance to the canyon already was lit and had adequate space for a bus to pull over, which would substantially reduce the capital requirements for a stop, he said it wasn’t going to happen and that their decision was made.

We at Water View pray that the next article about a RFTA fatality isn’t written about us.

Chris Lundgren


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