No justification for Pitkin County Courthouse parking proposal |

No justification for Pitkin County Courthouse parking proposal

I would like to commend Rachel Richards for her comments at the Feb. 10 Aspen City Council work session on Galena Plaza in defense of the iconic and historic Pitkin County Courthouse and her advocacy to consider other locations for law enforcement parking other than by adding new spaces directly in front of any of the historic courthouse.

An entire new underground parking garage for law enforcement was included in the new Aspen Police Department building. Sheriff Joe DiSalvo subsequently voiced his desire to have the parking remain on Galena Street in an Aspen Times article of Feb. 13. Surely there are more appropriate sites for this parking, including Galena Street, than placing it directly in front of one of our most important historic buildings.

To think that City Council would support the destruction of the beautiful lawn and flowering trees in front of this iconic and historic building for parking replacement is a disgrace to Aspen’s history and sense of place. To consider eliminating these mature trees in favor of parking spaces and 4 feet of lawn with new, but undoubtedly small, non-fruit crab apple trees that will take years to mature, will do little to serve the building setting, prominence and beauty of the Pitkin County Courthouse. These trees should only be replaced as they die or deteriorate from significant branch breakage. We have only the placement and replacement 20 years later of the street trees around Matsuhisa to remind us how unsuccessful tree replacement efforts have been.

With regard to bear habitat, if we continue to destroy the bear’s natural food sources, how can we fault them for eating our garbage?

Lisa Markalunas


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