Letter: City goes against the green

The Aspen Times in its July 12 article “Moratorium prompts Wells Fargo drive-thru to check out” reported, “Idling vehicles at the bank’s drive-thru also had been a concern to the city. ‘Historically we have gotten complaints here or there about the drive-thru (at Wells Fargo) and vehicles idling,’ said Jannette Whitcomb, senior environmental health specialist for the city.”

Wow! Commuters and even Aspenites have been complaining about the bottlenecking backup of traffic in and out of town for the entire 20 years I have lived in the valley. So far, nothing has been done about it!

What has Aspen done to resolve any commuter traffic issues? Nothing, really. They have added the road block at Seventh Street, which only diverts traffic down to Castle Creek and then up onto Cemetery Lane. Yes, the roundabout has been built and Highway 82 was made four lanes, but what has Aspen done? They raised parking fee almost 50 percent. They installed the “living lab,” whatever the hell that is! And they have purchased their way into “being 100 percent green.” I don’t believe they are 100 percent green/sustainable without the purchasing of wind and solar credits, but someone please correct me and educate me if I am wrong. Aspen shot down hydro, and we have no wind turbines, and there are no large solar farms in the city.

I feel they are the anti-green, giving permits for 8,000-plus-square-foot homes that are occupied three weeks a year, heated at 73 and cooled at 64 year round. People want to build here to enjoy the beauty of the mountains, and then tear into the side of the mountain to build a 10,000-square-foot McMansion, and then we shoot mountain lion cubs, or close the trail when they are spotted.

The entrance and exit to Aspen, the S-curves, is a joke, and it has never been addressed, but Wells Fargo’s drive-thru goes down in a couple months after the moratorium. What a disservice the traffic is to visitors, commuters, second/third/fourth-home owners, local, or anyone else who has the misfortune of dealing with it.

I know nothing will be done anytime soon about it. Nothing says “Welcome to Aspen — Mountain Town, USA” like sitting in idling traffic in your limo, Rolls, Tesla, Ferrari, work truck, or even on the bus, because the bus to bottlenecks at the Castle Creek bridge and S-curves.

Now suck it Aspen … the idling smog that is!

John Norman