Friday, December 14, 2018

What would Yvon Chouinard do? Letter to the editor. Unpublished.

What would Yvon Chouinard do?

Lead by example.

1. Make all City owned and operated buildings net zero. That includes APCHA. Replace “City of Aspen” with “Pitkin County” copy and paste.

2. Make all new City building projects net zero. Replace “City of Aspen” with “Pitkin County” copy and paste.

3. Make all City vehicles EV. Replace “City” with “County” copy and paste.

4. Do not hand out a single City of Aspen subsidy to a company which isn’t net zero. Replace “City of Aspen” with “Pitkin County” copy and paste.

5. Do not hand out a single City of Aspen grant to a non-profit or entity which isn’t net zero. Replace “City of Aspen” with “Pitkin County” copy and paste.

These are not radical suggestions.  After all I haven’t suggested we give every deer, elk, bear, mountain lion, chickadee, nuthatch, blue spruce, lodgepole pine and wildflower an absentee ballot….we should because those are what make “Aspen Aspen”… but that would be radical and I doubt you’d get the bears to vote in March.

Lead by example, that is what I expect of my representatives and my government. Do more-300 City employees can make a bigger difference than any single citizen.

Gofundme bail for climate protesters 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Subsidies for Billionaires.... letter to the editor


Under the fig leaf of reducing cars in Aspen we are poised to subsidize a multi billion dollar company with $800,000. Do we get stock options with that?

1. Rideshare does not reduce vehicular  traffic- anywhere. If it’s successful it increases the number of vehicles.
2. Rideshare has about 5 drivers in the valley.  We have no drivers because there isn’t any money in it. Want to increase the number of drivers? Have our 300 City staff take one rideshare a week. I can give you coupons.
3. Rideshare does not reduce your carbon footprint (see point #1) if you want to reduce the carbon footprint - subsidize some electric cars with that $800K- for the police force, for existing livery services, gift the down payment to 800 lucky Aspen citizens for their first electric car.. (have an EV lottery instead of an APCHA lottery) … any one of these would reduce our carbon footprint.
4. Airports, airports, airports. It’s about the airports…. and if you really want to reduce the number of cars during ski season you will take one of those mini buses and start direct bus service from baggage claim to Aspen. Next open communication between Grand Junction, Eagle, DIA and Aspen airport transit authorities when ever there is an airport closure to stop “dead heading” aka one way trips and returning to Aspen empty.
5. High volume events like Xgames, New Year’s Eve, Food & Wine bring in rideshare drivers (mostly from Denver) …. drivers without local business licenses and without local knowledge (hilarity ensues when they try and use GPS in the RFV). That’s where your “new” drivers come from… places with a lower cost of living … just like the rest of the service industry… which means … you guessed it… more traffic.

Rideshare is a free market business model with a lot of venture capital and to date only successful in a high volume urban 24/7/365 environment. We are rural resort with a seasonal economy and marginal connectivity…. and chances of having enough empirical data to find trends for our economy are slim to none… Do not try and shovel an $800K metro model into an Aspen size sack. 

See the previous post for more "mobility" talk.