Look to values for dealing with traffic | AspenTimes.com

Look to values for dealing with traffic

Aspen, we have a problem. Any person who lives or works in this town can see that we are on the brink of failure as a beautiful resort community. No longer are we the once tranquil, small, mountain town that inspired great musicians, artists and philosophers of renown to restore a famous but forgotten silver camp into the most beautiful ski and music resort of the past century, that also has become world-renowned.

Unfortunately, our success also has become our failure. A paradox of attributes and deficiencies in conflict with each other. Our beautiful mountains surround an amazing community of historic Victorian buildings intertwined with modern contemporary architecture. All the elements of a successful and prosperous resort community. A place where everyone wants to be!

And therein lies the problem. Prosperity, jobs and money. And with it comes the resultant plague of cars, trucks and buses filling our streets with congestion, pollution and angry commuters who service the town on a daily basis. Upvalley in the morning and downvalley in the evening. As regular as tides, flow the trucks, cars and service workers who mow the lawns and clean the toilets of the nouveau riche.

Unfortunately, we cannot turn back the clock to a more tranquil time when Aspen was self-reliant and a community of hardworking folks who cared for all. But the virtues of our past are still with us. So take the time to slow down and share our love for Aspen with all who visit or work in this beautiful town.

Patience and forbearance are necessary virtues in dealing with our traffic congestion. Remember, somewhere could be worse. So look for the silver lining, and keep on smiling. Because someday, we might have light rail for the valley.

Jim Markalunas