Matthews: My preferred alternative makes more sense |

Matthews: My preferred alternative makes more sense

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

I  have been coming to Aspen since 1972 and have been a homeowner since 1999. I recall discussions over the last 30-plus years about the Entrance to Aspen. 

Back then, there was no affordable housing on Main Street across from the Hickory House and no affordable housing along Main from 7th to 8th streets. The other side of that block was also undeveloped.  

This area is now fully-developed to include free-market houses and affordable housing — both deed restricted and rentals. We have many families with young children who live in this neighborhood and enjoy the green space. There is parking on both sides of Main Street.

With this “Preferred Alternative” and five lanes dumping onto this street, has the city ever considered:

1. Where are the neighborhood cars going to park?

2. Where will the neighborhood children play?

This solution is a neighborhood killer. The result will be profound change for my immediate neighborhood and the entire West End of town. This will turn Aspen into Vail, with an expressway running through it. We will have lost neighborhoods and, in turn, our small-town character. 

When a new traffic light is installed at 7th and Main, the incoming morning traffic will be backed up well into the Marolt Open Space/tunnel. In the afternoon, it will back up further than now into the commercial core of the city. 

Building a five-lane highway is not a traffic solution. If anything, it will encourage more people to drive into Aspen and add to the congestion downtown and the West End — not to mention, where are all these cars going to park?  

I am opposed to this new highway entrance. It makes no sense. Build a new four-lane bridge across Castle Creek in the same location as the existing bridge. It will do everything positive that the Preferred Alternative is touted to do (and far more cheaply) without any of the negative effects.

Dee Matthews

Aspen and Washington, D.C.