Mayors and staff from Centennial, Bow Mar, Wheat Ridge and more got a window seat into the lives of communities in west Denver, Lakewood and Golden during the recent Metro Mayor Caucus’ transportation event.
Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul and Golden …
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Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul and Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan took about a dozen of their neighboring leaders on a ride July 26 on the W Line, starting at Union Station and ending at the Golden Hotel. Along the way they lunched at West Line Flats, stopped at a few stations, and explored the Linking Lookout project and Clear Creek.
“One of the interesting things about the Sheridan area is it’s a food desert, but we’ve been changing that with the Mountair Park Community Farm,” explained Paul as the train zipped past the Sheridan Station. “And you’re going to notice that all of our stations have public art, and all the electricity boxes are wrapped in art.”
The tour was an opportunity for mayors and other city leaders to hear and see for themselves what other cities are trying, what common challenges and victories they share, and to foster partnerships.
“We’re trying to be cohesive in how we create the community,” said Bill Marino, chair of 40 West Arts, at a presentation on the arts district and West Colfax at West Line Flats. “By far the coolest thing that’s come from what’s happening on West Colfax is the economic vitality in the area.”
For many of the mayors, 40 West and the West Colfax corridor revitalization was particularly interesting, especially now that transit-oriented-developments like the Flats are opening up.
“This is an amazing spark for the entire community,” said Anthony Graves, director of regional affairs with the City and County of Denver. “I like the active dialogue between the arts districts we’re seeing all over the state.”
Almost all the mayors on the tour faced infrastructure challenges, as well as concerns about density and protecting open space. Which made the work Golden is doing in the area of connectivity and transportation a topic of significant discussion.
“This work is the offshoot of more than 20 years of planning,” said Dan Hartman, the city’s director of public works, as the group stood on the “lid” of the project.
Many were impressed with the Golden Bike Library, and how the city is making it easier and cheaper for its residents to stop using their cars.
“I’m a big fan of this idea, and am taking notice,” Centennial Mayor Cathy Noon said.
And while an educational time was shared by all, of equal importance was the camaraderie, knowledge and jokes that everyone in attendance shared.
“It takes a lot of time and vision to see these kinds of projects through,” Graves said. “It’s cool to see.”
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