Letter: Aspen is losing parking

Aspen is losing parking

Where are the residents of Aspen supposed to park? The new art museum has been given all the parking spaces on both sides of their new building in perpetuity for a sculpture garden, and the residents of Aspen have lost 16 to 18 parking spaces forever. This morning, and for the past several weeks, they have posted no parking signs for six spaces on 600 E. Hyman Ave., Four spaces on 600 E. Cooper Ave., Eight parallel-parking spaces on East Spring Street and eight angle parking on the west side of Spring Street. That totals 44 spaces of town parking that are unavailable for tourists, locals, shoppers, patients, clients — for several weeks and 18 parking spots lost forever. There is even a nasty sign in front of the museum across from Sandy’s that says, “No Stopping or Standing to let people off.” Instead they are to walk several blocks or waste gas circling for a parking spot instead of paying for parking spots and construction spots and fines and fees the museum paid for “storm water project.” The city planners say they never realized that the Art Museum would be taking so many spots! Another good deal for the art crowd. Across the street is the Crandal Building that at one time housed seven physicians, and now it is down to two pediatricians. What is the plan? Mom drops off her 5 year old while she looks for parking. She schleps the two kids and a newborn in the winter from Rubey Park. The skier/hockey player with a sprained ankle hikes in from the high school. Fortunately, the kids in wheelchairs can park in the handicapped parking in front of the office. It isn’t just sick kids, but every business around needs some way for people to get to their business. I love the bus system, the bike stations and parking garage, but they don’t work for many people and all situations. In a few weeks it will be done and things will be better, but there was a major lack of planning, thinking of consequences and to have given the Art Museum permanent control over 18 parking spaces to use for a sculpture garden is difficult to comprehend. Aspen as a local community is truly slipping away. There is very little or nothing that can be done at this point except roll over. This is not the council that voted for the project and Mayor Skadron was the no vote. We need better planning; involve more of the impacted neighbors and ask more questions. Just because someone owns the ground (paid too much for it), it is not the city’s responsibility to make it possible for the developer to make a huge profit.

William Mitchell