Three seconds from death in Aspen
August 7, 2017
At 9:15 on Sunday morning I wanted to take a peaceful walk along the bike path to the Double Bar X properties, across from the Aspen Country Inn (the "senior priority" housing that the city of Aspen recently purchased and spent a great deal of money renovating to "protect their asset.")
Sunday mornings are generally fairly quiet, and it is possible to wait and be able to cross the highway. But not this Sunday. When one car slowed down to allow me to pass, another came barreling down behind it at about 65 miles per hour, nearly slammed into the first car, then passed it in the bus lane, screeching on its brakes, fishtailing before nearly hitting me. I had just made it to the other side, alive.
And this is summer. Winter is especially challenging as workers and seniors return home from Aspen in the dark to face heavy traffic on icy roads. One particularly wretched winter night, I crossed alongside a very pregnant young woman returning home from work. When I asked the Parks Department to cut a path on the old bridge for us so we could get off at Truscott and walk down, I was told they were only allowed to make cross-country tracks, leaving us knee-deep in snow if we made that choice.
Can anyone at the city, the county, the state, or the Housing "Authority" take time to resolve this issue, or must a few of us seniors die first, as we attempt to reach the bike path or take a downvalley bus? The city's resolution is for us to call a free taxi if we need to get across. One senior resident told me he went to the council twice asking for at least a sign that warns "Pedestrians Crossing." No visible action.
Granted, I could have walked up the old bridge, under the tunnel, and back down the other side of the bridge to reach the trail, adding only about 25 to 30 minutes to the journey roundtrip. It was, after all, a quiet Sunday morning.
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