Saturday, May 27, 2017

Car-mmonsense, letter to the editor

I attended Tony Dutzik’s presentation on transportation and mobility Wednesday. After a nod to Henry Ford and the first “transportation revolution”

This actually happened in a Hotel Pool on Main Street a few years back....

we heard about the usual suspects: self driving cars, bikeshare, car pooling, on demand apps…

RFTA's concrete eggs where the money went instead of developing a transit app 

or RFTA vending machines at bus stops.

and the final solution… ban the private car from the city limits.

The biggest bumps in the road to a car-less future were  “the service worker or other low income folks.” We were told that the social engineering was too broad a topic for the presentation.

Really??? Luckily there were no projectiles for me to throw and I haven’t body slammed anyone since a brief stint as a nose guard for a women’s football team in college.

Self driving cars are easy just try inventing a self repairing sewer line.  Ban everyone without a commercial license plate and you ban blue collar. You ban the construction worker’s truck. You ban the electrician’s van. You ban the maid’s car of cleaning supplies. You ban every independent contractor and freelancer who travels with their shop on their back.

Sure if service workers could afford to live in town it would be a different story but the average cost of a single family home in Aspen last year was $6.2 mill- not a lot of service industry workers can handle that mortgage. Sooo…. you ban the commuters who keep our “quaint little mountain town” running.

Terminal Täsch outside of Zermatt where you park your car

The intro to “transportation and mobility” was Henry Ford and the Model T;  but the Model T wasn’t just about car vs horse or an assembly line Ford also increased the wages of his employees so they could buy the car they were building.

Start there- improve quality of life and revitalize the community or all that vitality will find someplace easier and more welcoming to thrive.  Just talk to the Pitkin County workers in the temporary digs in Basalt- the new County offices which are being built in Aspen do not hold as much appeal as a short commute to Basalt. Our priorities should not be fewer cars. Our priorities should be more time with your family and more time enjoying this fantastic valley.

"Density makes all of these systems work better" but density doesn't make the quality of life in the Roaring Fork Valley better.  We need to find solutions which do not compromise the best of what we already have.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Groasis 2013-2017

Here we are again. The good news is that the chokecherries are still alive. The rate of growth isn't awe inspiring but in my experience once something survives here for a few years ... it's going to hang on...

This is one of the survivors from 2014

and the "star" a bare root planted in 2015

and a shy one of the native locals - still alive- a baby planted in 2015

I'm staying cautiously optimistic. There are some others which were planted last year which haven't budded yet- I'll post those when there's a little more to show.

2013-2017 past posts on Groasis