Letter: Time to act on congestion | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Time to act on congestion

All indications are that this summer’s traffic, parking and congestion in Aspen will be the worst on record.

Construction is booming, retail sales are expected to reach an all-time high, hotel reservations are up over last year, and gas prices are low, which likely draws more visitors in cars from the Front Range and the Roaring Fork Valley. The Aspen Chamber Resort Association estimates there will be 750,000 visitors coming through town this summer.

To compound the busyness, there are at least four major commercial projects under construction in the downtown core that have reduced traffic lanes and parking spaces. Two of these projects, the Rubey Park remodel and the Rio Grande Plaza remodel, are city projects.

As a community, what are we planning to do about it?

Angst created by these issues threatens visitors’ experience and locals’ quality of life.

Hoping people become so frustrated by traffic and the cost of parking that they use public transportation instead is not a healthy strategy for a resort town.

Low-cost, easy-to-implement solutions exist that don’t require major infrastructure projects that take years to complete and major taxpayer subsidy. While it’s important to think long term, we need to move quickly to impact change now, this summer.

Peter Grenney