Letter: “Yes” on 3B | AspenTimes.com

Letter: “Yes” on 3B

Beyond my professional role working for the Roaring Fork School District, I care about passing 3B as a father, neighbor and community member. Recently, I heard a concern about how my own neighborhood, Blue Lake, could potentially be impacted, and I wanted to investigate to see what the direct effect would actually be. The two proposed projects near Blue Lake are: the transportation facility in El Jebel and the future school site — the district currently owns land in the community and is considering adding contiguous land for a future school.

The transportation facility in El Jebel has prompted a question about additional bus traffic through the Blue Lake community. Some residents fear traffic will increase and impact the safety of children in the neighborhood on what is already a busy street. I encourage residents to read the project fact sheet, which directly addresses this concern. Information recently added includes a traffic study that states the streets can adequately handle the additional vehicles and a commitment from the school district that buses traveling down valley will not drive through the Blue Lake neighborhood.

Another worry expressed was home values will decrease if a future school is built. Two local real estate professionals told me in our area, homes near school sites have actually become more desirable. Reasons include: 1) Convenience: kids can walk or bike to school and do not have to take the bus or be driven. 2) Safety and security: safety and security become heightened in communities where the schools are. There is just more of a watchdog sense in the area. Some examples where a neighborhood school is a selling point rather than a deterrent include Sopris Elementary in Glenwood, Kathryn Senor Elementary and Riverside Middle School (RE-2) in New Castle and Basalt Elementary/Middle School in Basalt.

Blue Lake is such a terrific family neighborhood, and these projects should ensure this community remains a wonderful place in which to live. I am inclined to think the proposed projects, implemented as described, will make it even better. Vote “yes” on 3B.

Jeff Gatlin

Chief operating officer, Roaring Fork School District