Letter: Take a walk and take it in | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Take a walk and take it in

Last week, my 9-year-old son and I decided to enjoy the spring weather by walking from home to the Basalt Library. We had an errand at the library and the luxury of longer days on our side. We bike or walk the route regularly in the summer, but this was the first time we’d done it this year.

As we crossed Two Rivers Road and walked along the west side of Midland Avenue past the Pan and Fork parcel, I was struck by how different — and wonderful — it is to see and take in the riverfront afoot rather than by car. By foot, the size and openness of the parcel is stunning. Taking in the river and the view, when sitting for a moment at the four-way stop in the car, doesn’t have the same impact.

The view my son and I enjoyed last week has been obscured for as long as my family has lived in Basalt, first by the trailer park and then by heavy equipment and restoration efforts. Last week, the sound of the river, the open land and the golden hour of the sun making its way closer to the horizon gave me a satisfying feeling of straddling modern town life (I was on the sidewalk, next to a paved street, and my son was pushing along on his scooter) and being in nature at the same time.

Now, as the town of Basalt and its residents are at a crossroads of deciding how to use this land, I urge every resident, every downtown business owner and every city planner to take a walk along Midland Avenue next to the river and take it in. Ask yourself if adding condos and asphalt parking lots and possibly a hotel will do justice to this very special spot along the river. There’s no guarantee that development will “save” Basalt, but it is possible to save the natural beauty of this spot.

Tricia Johnson


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