More bus funding won’t fix traffic issues | AspenTimes.com

More bus funding won’t fix traffic issues

I am writing to encourage voters to vote "no" on 7A, which substantially raises property taxes to fund RFTA. Just watch the congested traffic at rush hours, from Aspen to Glenwood, to see that RFTA BRT system is only a small drop in a large bucket of commuter traffic. Over half the traffic is construction-related. These individuals will never be RFTA riders whether we decide to implement a visionary plan for light rail commuter service on the acquired rail right-of-way or continue with an ever-growing fleet of buses. Our serious problem with traffic congestion will only get worse with inevitable population growth in Colorado and the valley.

RFTA needs to consider implementing a plan for commuter rail that will appeal to the rather large portion of the non-construction, commuting population who will never be willing to ride the bus. Light rail offers far superior service with on-board restrooms, work space, food service and bike transit; a much superior ride that is comparable to what is found in Europe. This is the only way we will ever address the congestion problem we are experiencing at high-volume commuter times.

RFTA currently benefits from a substantial portion of our sales tax. Increasing property taxes already burdened by education and governmental funding puts more burden on fixed-income seniors and other working-class people who face ever increasing property tax bills every year. I encourage all voters to vote "no" on the 7A property tax increase and demand from RFTA the implementation of a better, comprehensive mass-transit system plan, including a rail element the length of the valley, to address traffic and congestion problems. Only then will RFTA be worthy of asking for increased taxes of any kind from the voters of the Roaring Fork Valley.

Lisa Markalunas

Aspen

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