Technology alone cannot fix Entrance to Aspen

Dec 13, 2016

Attendees gather around to ask follow up questions of transportation expert Jim Charlier who is in Aspen to work with the Aspen Institute's task force on transportation and mobility.
Credit Alycin Bektesh / Aspen Public Radio News

If you are sitting in traffic today, an expert who has been studying Highway 82 for decades will tell you it’s not going to get any better anytime soon.


Transportation expert Jim Charlier offered no real solutions when he presented to a crowd of 60 at the Wheeler Opera House as part of the kick-off to the Aspen Institute’s Community Forum on Mobility and Transportation Series.


While Charlier says new technologies offer promising solutions for getting visitors off the road,

the valley’s growing population and wide geographical distribution will continue to overwhelm the Highway 82 corridor with commuters.


“Aspen kind of wants it both ways somehow, they want the traffic problem to disappear but to add as little more housing as they can within the community,” said Michael Miracle, community engagement director for the Aspen Skiing Company. “And that's not just an Aspen problem, that goes down the valley. Where the euphemism is ‘small town character’ but in reality it’s ‘don't let anyone else live here’”


Miracle is part of a 30-member task force of community leaders assembled by the Institute. The goal of the task force is to have a completed vision for the future of transportation in Aspen by spring 2017.