Letter: Bus blazed on by
I read with befuddlement Andy Stone’s recent thought-provoking piece about traffic, mass transit and the Entrance to Aspen (“Traffic-jam rage, willful stupidity and one bright idea,” Commentary, The Aspen Times, Aug. 12).
Last week, I had to make a trip into Aspen from Basalt during the middle of the day. I got in my car and headed for the big city, wondering along the way if there would be a problem with traffic getting into town. As I approached the Intercept Lot at Brush Creek and Highway 82, a little voice inside my head said, “Turn left here and save yourself from traffic-jam rage.” Perhaps it was the voice of God or some sentient being, I don’t know, but I turned in and parked my car. I walked over to the bus-rapid-transit station and noted that the LED sign (just like those in places like London or Dubai) indicated a free bus would be coming along in three minutes heading for Aspen. I picked up a copy of that day’s Aspen Times and, sure enough, three minutes later a bus pulled into the station.
Off we went toward the big city with no traffic backups in sight until we reached Owl Creek Road. By this time, I was halfway through Mr. Stone’s thought-provoking piece in the Times, but instead of being stuck in the parking lot that had become Highway 82 (like he apparently had been in), we buzzed right along in the bus lane and straight toward town. We of course encountered a brief slowdown at the Maroon Creek roundabout and through the S-curves (no political will or courage to fix that!), but not much time was lost as the bus, by state law, had the right of way to merge into traffic. Moments later, we were in downtown Aspen. My only regret was that the trip was so quick (not to mention free — did I already note that?) that I didn’t get to finish reading all of the other more interesting and pertinent articles in my paper.
Later that day, while once again riding the bus out of town while passing lines of parked and idling cars, I again began thinking about what Mr. Stone had written. I couldn’t help but wonder: Who here was really “willfully ignorant,” “blind” and displaying “pigheaded stupidity,” or perhaps, just Stone(d)?
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With much sorrow I heard of the passing of a good friend Bruce Berger. He was a man for all seasons, a pianist, prolific author, environmentalist, and lover of Aspen.