Future plans for North Washington in the works

City gathers community input for ‘Complete Streets’

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Now that Linking Lookout — the construction project at US Highway 6 and 19th Avenue — is well underway, the City of Golden can shift some focus to improving North Washington Avenue.

Improvements on North Washington Avenue have been needed for a long time, according to city councilor Marcia Claxton.

“It’s a main gateway for the community,” she said. “There’s a lot of opportunity for North Washington.”

A third open house meeting on the portion of Washington Avenue that stretches from 10th Street and Highway 93 took place on April 11. The meeting was tofollow up on a Jan. 23 community meeting, during which attendees left feedback on what they think needs to be improved on the corridor.

Based off the January meeting, city staff identified some of the community’s priorities: safe bike and pedestrian facilities, traffic calming and reduced vehicular speeds, and parking and transit.

The corridor was broken down into four segments — Highway 93 to Iowa Street, Iowa Street to Second Street, Second Street to Highway 58 and Highway 58 to 10th Street. Each segment has a number of different engineering solutions, totaling 10 throughout the corridor.

The solutions focused on how to best move pedestrians, cars and bicycles in the North Washington corridor.

Because designs have not been finalized, there is not an estimated cost for the project yet. However, there are $3.8 million in available funds for the project. A Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) grant totals $3 million, and the city is contributing $800,000.

The city expects to have some design plans to present to the public in June, which will include information about pedestrian crossings, landscaping, art and sense of place along the corridor.

Construction is anticipated to start before the end of the year.

The North Washington Avenue project is a Complete Streets project, which means once completed, the corridor will be safe for all users — pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Golden adopted the Complete Streets policy in June 2010.

Jim Hecker has lived in Golden for seven years, and believes safe streets should be a priority.

When a person is driving through a neighborhood with bike lanes and well maintained sidewalks, it proves that community does care, Hecker said.

“Safe streets create the concept of community,” he said. “Which is why we’re all here.”

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