This past Saturday's Pedestrian Mall Appreciation Day and national recognition confirmed what Aspenites have known, the malls are a great public space.
I thought it interesting that there are plans for complete mall renovations. It seems that we need infrastructure and electrical upgrades and that we are running out of bricks. Well, that may be true, but let's hope we don't screw up what we were awarded as top 15 in the country. Again, some improvements could be great, let's just not overdo it and lose that specialness. It seems that sometimes we can spend too much money, time and talent on processes that don't return the best for Aspen.
The Mall plans made me think about the current airport expansion plans. The airport plans started out as a desire to make back of house improvements, security and flow upgrades and safer runways. Now it has grown to a $400 million expansion pushing it's safety and capacity limitations. This process has been self-perpetuating from the driving support of only a few entities. Why does our local airport need to run commercials selling us on the expansion plans? I do think there are warranted improvements that should be made at the airport, but the current expanded scope of the project will have lasting unmitigated impacts on our valley, residents and visitors.