There Skadron goes again |

There Skadron goes again

“There you go again,” quipped Ronald Reagan in his presidential debates, first against Jimmy Carter in the 1980 election and then against Walter Mondale in 1984. Reagan used this phrase to great effect whenever he had the chance to call out his opponent as being off the mark.

Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron earns a “there you go again” for being off the mark. Skadron jetted around the country with a couple of his City Council cohorts naively sticking his hand out for millions of dollars in donations like manna from heaven for his hairbrained “mobility lab” initiative. As far as I can tell, the only people who care an ounce about this feckless idea are those whose political fortunes are tied to it.

Here’s the mark that Skadron keeps missing. People care about clean air and individual liberty, both of which are deliberately neglected by Skadron’s refusal to consider a second bridge into and out of Aspen. Carcinogenic, noxious fine particulate diesel soot from commercial trucks belches into the air on West Main Street and on highway 82 every rush hour. Workers who drive the trucks have no choice but to breathe the soot into their lungs as they slog through stop and go traffic at the beginning and end of their work day. So do the rest of us who live or work on West Main Street. This can only be remedied by constructing a second bridge over the Castle Creek ravine into and out of Aspen.

Skadron is not promoting environmentalism, and he is certainly not promoting individual liberty. It is time for Aspen’s government to start exercising responsible leadership by promoting an awareness for the need to repurpose a portion of the Marolt Open Space for a second artery into and out of Aspen, even if it’s only for a two lane artery, and then campaign for its passage on the ballot. Otherwise, Skadron and his cohorts risk fading into obscurity as ineffective idealists, just as Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale did.

John Hornblower