Watching the candidates spin their wheels
Not wanting the election season to pass without serious discussion of the highway issue, I asked the candidates this question via email: “What would you like to see happen at the Entrance to Aspen?”
The responses are mostly in. I’ll save the best for last and begin with the easiest to convey:
Art Daily: Did not respond.
Sue Tatem: Is not satisfied with the current set of choices and wants to see new ideas.
Steve Skadron: Wants to provide “viable alternatives to cars” and use “technologies that are not reliant on more lanes and more parking garages in town.”
Ann Mullins: Wants “smoother traffic flows, improved alignments, emphasis on public transit, support of alternative modes of transportation.” Ann did not respond to a request for examples of what would lead to smoother traffic flows, or an improved alignment.
Torre: Wants a three-lane solution with a reversible lane. Two inbound lanes in the morning and two outbound lanes in the afternoon would only relieve congestion for buses if those additional lanes continue to be reserved for buses only. Torre did not respond when asked if he is advocating converting bus lanes to HOV lanes so that general traffic could also benefit from the increased capacity. Torre also says that state authorities have “weighed in” on the three-lane alternative, but I have no idea what that means.
Skippy Mesirow: The purity of my process was destroyed when I saw Skippy downtown and we discussed this in person. In a passing remark I mentioned the social engineering aspect of the entrance. Skippy did not seem to know that I was not making it up; it is the stated policy of the city to preserve congestion at the entrance in order to impose behavioral changes. His submitted response is that, “Traffic is a valleywide issue and must be looked at holistically. I believe we can leverage public-private partnerships using existing and emergent technologies to create a valley-wide transportation system that people want to use and that gets cars off the road.”
Ward Hauenstein: The Aspen Institute has a “Community Forum on Transportation” and Ward has become one of its victims. These orchestrated brainwashing sessions are always the same. “Transportation consultants” isolate a group of people and bombard them with fake information which is designed to create supporters for the policy position of the Aspen City Council. Ward has now decided that “when the pain factor is too high they will take public transportation.” If the current traffic jam is not pain enough, should placing your hands on a steering wheel result in a wooden ruler across your knuckles?
Lee Mulcahy: “At the very least, we should immediately offer two lanes leaving town from the Castle Creek bridge/roundabout. Currently, one lane is restricted to buses. Ideally, a four-lane solution would alleviate traffic in the West End and Cemetery Lane as well as the horrendous traffic wait times for citizens in affordable housing outside downtown.”
To all you non-masochists out there, happy voting.
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Regarding today’s education on holiday lights and dark sky policy (“City of Aspen to residents: Lights out,” May 6, The Aspen Times).