Stealthy City Government
I want to thank Cara DeGette for the stellar reporting in her news story “Not So Fast” that appeared in the last month’s issue.
Trust me when I say that there are many, many Park Hill residents who were unaware of the city’s East Area Plan and specifically the Bus Rapid Transit plan for East Colfax. Folks of all political bents that I talk to are shocked when told that a plan is afoot to replace two lanes of auto traffic on Colfax. Forcing a good portion of half the Colfax traffic onto 17th Avenue, Montview Boulevard, and 23rd Avenue through Park Hill presents serious issues of congestion, safety, and property values in an area that has been relatively slow, peaceful, and quiet for decades.
My question is whether or not there are sunshine laws that require the Denver planning department to report what it is doing in a transparent form and in a forum that people other than policy wonks regularly visit. It appears not.
Bus Rapid Transit for East Colfax is another social engineering and utopian scheme concocted out of the same mentality that conjured up Safe Injection Sites and the Right To Survive Ordinance 300. All Denverites and particularly the residents of Park Hill and Mayfair and other impacted neighborhoods deserve better than the stealth city government that we are currently paying for.
Gerald Sullivan, Park Hill
Quit Your Griping
Re: Oneida Park Center near capacity: I read this article from the August issue and all I can say is, “Cry me a river!” For years the shopping center at Oneida and 23rd Avenue was basically blighted, empty and an eyesore for the surrounding neighborhood. Now it’s thriving and provides much needed retail to an underserved community.
But of course, someone needs to bitch and moan about parking considering many of the homes have driveways (as mentioned in the article) and for those without there are alleys and garages. If these residents need parking than build a driveway or park in your alley.
I’m tired of the same old complaint over and over about parking. Ride the bus or use a bike to get around. Denver is a growing, healthy city far from where it was in the 80s and 90s. Park Hill is a diverse and wonderful neighborhood and I can only hope more development happens in the years ahead.
Rob Cepelak, Park Hill
Lessons From Albuquerque
My wife and I are new arrivals to Park Hill in the last year, but I grew up in Colorado and was recently living in Albuquerque for a few years.
After seeing last month’s coverage of the proposed development on Colfax, I looked into the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project that Denver is proposing, and noticed some interesting similarities to the ART project in Albuquerque.
Just about three years ago, Albuquerque rolled out a rapid transit bus project on the main east-west thoroughfare, Central Avenue. Voters were skeptical from the start, but there was little recourse other than waiting for an election, so the project went forward. The project took multiple lanes of traffic from Central Avenue and converted them to a middle bus lane with dedicated infrastructure.
Construction was beset by cost overruns and quality problems. When the line opened, the buses broke down and had to be returned to the manufacturer at extensive cost to taxpayers. Furthermore, during construction, the decreased access to the area caused many local shops and restaurants to go out of business. The few that remained have struggled since the line opened, with many subsequently folding. People can’t easily access the area by car, and parking was greatly reduced, so businesses couldn’t stay open.
When I look at the proposed development and BRT here in Denver, the similarities are striking. Is it the same developer? Has Denver looked at what went wrong in Albuquerque? My guess is that this project is as ill advised, and as much of a handout to big development as it was in Albuquerque.
Will McNitt, Park Hill
Trying To Cross Montview
I hope that the Sept. 8 Park Hill Street Fair on the Forest Street Parkway was the success it deserved to be; it is a wonderful community builder.
My husband and I spent the early part of the afternoon there, requiring us to cross Montview Boulevard as pedestrians to access the fair, the same as we’ve done on previous years. This year, given the burgeoning population in Stapleton, and perhaps the city’s omnipresent road maintenance, there was little-to-no break in the traffic. We were forced to walk into traffic to get there and back, an action that hurried drivers proved markedly unsympathetic to both times.
Our suggestion for next year’s fair is to place signs along Montview, warning drivers that the Street Fair is approaching, plus getting permission from the city to create a temporary crosswalk near Forest or Fairfax. This would make our Park Hill world a safer and more peaceful place. Additionally, the city could reap some extra income if they cared to set speed traps along Montview, any day of the week.
Thank you to all the folks who worked so hard on creating this terrific event!
Linda Drake, Park Hill
Song Of Praise
I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy the page 3 Birdland photo feature in the Greater Park Hill News – it’s the first thing I look for when I get a copy.
My mother (age 87) recently told me, as well as some of her friends at her senior apartment, that she saw a beautiful bird with a bright yellow breast outside her window. She was ecstatic when she saw Mark Silverstein’s beautiful photo of the exact specimen, the Western Meadowlark, in last month’s issue. Since she had the feeling no one believed her, it meant a lot to her that she had proof, and she showed it to all of the skeptics.
Lisa Flavin, Park Hill
Editor’s Note: We love your letters, and give preference to those that address an issue that has been covered in the newspaper, or a topic that is Park Hill or Denver-specific. Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org, and include your full name, and the neighborhood in which you live. Deadlines are the 15th of each month, for the following month’s issue.