Saturday, February 18, 2017

Charging ahead

We already have a formula for development funding affordable housing. Why not make car chargers a mandatory addition to all building permits?

When I’m driving my “uber tesla” I get a lot of riders from California. These are mostly people who already own a Tesla. Eventually the conversation turns to charging and the availability of charging stations. Simply put- the lines are long in the Eureka State.

Battery technology is undergoing a rapid and long overdue boost. Electric car prices are lower and will continue to be lower as the battery price goes down and efficiency goes up. The cost of electricity is not the issue- the issue is how many charging stations are there? Right now my plug share app shows 26 in the Roaring Fork Valley. “Good" you say? Take a look at our traffic and imagine 1/3 electric - then you’re getting a better idea of how many chargers we are going to need- the question isn’t “if” but  “when”?

Chain letter

Chain stores? In Aspen we ain’t talkin’ Target. Prada, and Louis Vuitton those are our chain stores.

Prada......which used to be Andres- with backgammon and dancing on the top floor- I saw plenty of $100 bills being exchanged on that top floor- arguably as much money transferred hands then as now...

Ever wonder why we don’t have a Duane Reede on every corner? Could it possibly be because you have to make enough money to pay your rent?

The only exceptions I can think of are the ones where the retailer owns the real estate.

The vicious circle comes back to the price of real estate and the price of real estate is largely due to our government restricted building codes.  Scarcity increases price it’s a simple economic principle.

Our choice is not “chain stores” our choice is do you want government regulated building inhabited by government subsidized retail?  Remember how well that’s worked in the past? I whisper “Cooper Street Pier” from the wings.

What would happen, I wonder, if restrictions on retail beyond the commercial core were a little more loose? Could we infuse our “dark” neighborhoods with a little more life? Would it encourage less driving to the core if you could pick up a carton of milk on the nearest corner? What if our free electric car service brought the groceries to you instead of you to the groceries?

What if our attempts at manipulating the Aspen economy were not quite so hamfisted as they have been?

What if we took a good long calm look and made one overarching rule in our government ordinances “First, do no harm.”?