Letter: Parking woes are city’s fault
December 3, 2015
It was interesting to read the article in Tuesday's Aspen Times regarding the parking problems ("City looks at proposals to fix parking problems").
As the City Council and staff discussed many options for dealing with the situation, it conveniently overlooked the elephant in the room, or, to mix metaphors, it should be looking in the mirror.
It is a major part of the problem.
Various-rate parking zones is another brilliant idea. Downtown paid parking just pushed the problem to the residential neighborhoods.
The battle over the Base2 building was not just about the size of the building. We, the residents, were upset that there would not be adequate parking for all the cars. Other huge projects, such as the Aspen Art Museum, not only did not have to provide on-site parking but have been given a half-city block of spaces. That is exacerbating the parking problem.
The Limelight Lodge has off-street parking. What genius in City Hall decided to give its guests cheap, on-street parking permits?
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The question of the day in the same paper pertained to employee housing and the lack thereof. Granting employee-housing variances for all the big, new projects puts more workers in cars that add to the congestion.
The developer plea is that "we can't build economically without variances." The answer to that should be: "Then you overpaid for the land." Employee housing and parking are required by zoning. The burden should be borne by the developer, not the community.
Mayor Steve Skadron said he thinks the community has reached its tolerance for buses rumbling through town. Yes, Steve, we have. I have not seen Roaring Fork Transportation Authority ridership statistics, but the buses I've seen at capacity are the upvalley and downvalley buses for people coming to and going home from work. I live in Mountain Valley. We are fortunate to have Dial-a-Ride. It is a minibus that serves our needs. I suspect that many of the city routes could be served by minibuses.
Charles H. Hopton
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