Letter: Aspen’s terrible traffic | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Aspen’s terrible traffic

If one has a clogged artery, it can, and usually will, lead to health and heart problems! The artery leading into Aspen’s heart is clogged.

“If you stop 10 people on the street and ask, ‘Why is traffic bad in Aspen?’ they will all give you a different answer. That, to me, tells me that as a community, we don’t have great data,” said Ashley Perl, the Canary Initiative director. (“Aspen vehicle traffic sees steady increase,” The Aspen Times, July 20). She continued, “(The city needs) to hear from the community that it’s a priority for them, as well. … We’re going to really have to hear from people and engage on a pretty deep level.”

News flash: Traffic congestion has been a topic in council meeting, in editorials and on front pages of the papers the entire duration of my almost 20 years in this valley.

Question: Do you want to hear from the people who have to drive into your community to service its needs or just those who live in the community and don’t really have to deal with the main-artery-congestion issue?

I think if you actually did ask 10 people what is the traffic problem, seven to eight of them would state or at least make mention of the single-lane bottleneck at the airport and Seventh and Main! Try it, and collect some more data that does not cost an Aspen-load of money to hire a third-party firm. Better yet, stand at the roundabout with a canary in a cage, place the cage curbside, and ask the commuters. That canary will not last long.

The single-lane bottleneck is the primary problem with Aspen’s traffic. It backs up in the morning, in the evening and all day long during peak holiday and summer months, and it is terrible before and after school, when parents sit in a line to pick their one student up in the Rover. It sucks and emits, and that is a fact! The long line of backed-up traffic affects all traffic in the core and coming and going.

You don’t need to finance more studies for more data; it is out in plain view. Construction works do lock tools up at job sites. Most of those job sites are not on a bus route and impossible to get to using public transportation. Even roaring Fork Transportation Agency buses have to merge at the S-curves both coming to and going out of town!

All this leads to increased emission, long commute times, poorer air quality, frustrated commuters and an eyesore for everyone — even the third-home owners flying in on a Gulfstream, they too sit in traffic once they deplane.

Again I ask, do you just care what the “community” thinks or the valley commuters as a whole?

P.S.: You should see the standing-room only-buses that are leaving town during rush hour. It sucks to work all day and have to stand on a bus for the commute home. At least in your car, in traffic, stopping and going, there is a seat for you!

John Norman

Carbondale


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