Fence forward for Golden's downtown

City receives grants for new and improved fencing for seating areas

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/3/21

In March, Gov. Jared Polis visited Golden to sign a bill committing $30 million to programs that will revitalize main street districts across Colorado. Now, Golden is set to receive more money from …

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Fence forward for Golden's downtown

City receives grants for new and improved fencing for seating areas

Posted

In March, Gov. Jared Polis visited Golden to sign a bill committing $30 million to programs that will revitalize main street districts across Colorado.

Now, Golden is set to receive more money from that bill.

On May 21, the Colorado Department of Transportation announced that it was awarding Golden $100,000 from the bill to purchase new architectural fencing for Washington Avenue.

Last year, makeshift architectural fencing began appearing along Washington Avenue and 12th Street in downtown Golden after the city council passed an ordinance temporarily allowing the closure of one lane of the parking lanes along those streets to allow expanded space for outdoor dining and sales displays in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of those fences have remained in place since and, in February, the city passed a new ordinance allowing businesses to re-apply annually to use the parking lanes in front of their business from April 1 to Oct. 31 for such purposes. However, there are several rules, including a requirement that businesses enclose seating areas or displays within the parking with fencing or barricades no more than four feet high.

Many of the businesses participated in the program have continued using white metal fencing the city provided to businesses when it first began allowing them to use the parking lanes.

“We all agreed it was fine but not the most beautiful thing in the world,” said Robin Fleischmann, an economic development coordinator with the City of Golden.

So last year, the Golden Downtown Development Authority decided to invest in “some nicer looking wood and metal fencing.” Some of that fencing is already in place outside the Windy Saddle Café, after the DDA purchased some of the fencing as a pilot.

“Once the new seasonal program went into effect, the DDA thought it would be great to buy more of that fencing that is nicer looking to provide a more beautiful and cohesive look to downtown,” she said.

It was around the same time that the Colorado Department of Transportation began taking applications for projects to fund with dollars from the Revitalizing Main Streets program.

Fleishmann said the plan is for the new fencing, which is being purchased from a company in Durango, to be in place by the end of July.

“The orders have been placed and now it's an issue of getting materials and building it,” she said. “But wood and steel are more expensive and harder to find these days so that is an issue they are dealing with.”

The architectural fencing award is the second one the city has received from the Revitalizing Main Streets program. In March, Gov. Jared Polis announced that the city was being awarded $50,000 to install new hanging lights in Miner's Alley.

According to a press release, the city will also soon be using separate funding to install bike racks in new locations.

Bradon Narva, the owner of Goozell Frozen Yogurt who is the acting chair of the Downtown Development Authority, touted the changes as a positive step for the city in a statement.

“With CDOT's support, Golden is reimagining Washington Avenue, our “main street”, with new lighting for a safe and walkable Miner's Alley, promoting public health and economic development through business expansion in the parking lane, improving wayfinding for pedestrians and cyclists, and installing more bike racks to increase multimodal options,” he said.

While enjoying a beer in front of the Ace-Hi Tavern on May 29, Mark Whitman said he felt creating seasonal seating areas along Washington Avenue seemed like a great idea for the city.

“All year I've really been enjoying the communities where they have been doing this, whether it's Idaho Springs or Golden or wherever,” said Whitman, who said he came up from Thornton to enjoy the start of a four-day weekend. “It's one of the good things that has come out of the pandemic.”

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