Another summer season has come and gone, with the Aspen City Council doing absolutely nothing about traffic and parking problems. There are complicated and controversial issues relating to the entrance to Aspen that may never be solved. However, there are a couple of easy fixes that should be done by now.
Parking in the Aspen core is very limited and extremely expensive. Proper use of the two parking lots outside of Aspen would help. However, these lots are now under-utilized and generally unknown.
The intercept lot is often full. However, it has a very large area that is unused because it is unpaved. There is supposedly a plan to pave it, but for some reason this has not been done. Furthermore, it is virtually hidden from view from Highway 82, so visitors don’t even know it exists. And even if they do, they don’t know that free bus service is available from the lot into Aspen.
The Buttermilk lot is always under-utilized, and again few are aware they can park there and bus into Aspen for free.
A plan should be implemented to encourage full usage of these lots to help reduce traffic into Aspen and parking. The intercept lot should be expanded and paved. The Buttermilk lot should used primarily for commuter traffic. Overnight use should be restricted. Signs should be put up along Highway 82 showing where the lots are located and advising the lots offer free parking and transportation into Aspen. And to encourage usage, nonstop service to and from the lots to the Aspen core should be provided, for free or for a reasonable fee. And our papers should contain ads informing the public of this.
At least this would be an easy, noncontroversial way of helping the traffic and parking problems.