In 2016, a faulty plan to safety size only Cascade, only through the Colorado Campus, was prevented from implementation by the public input process at City Planning Commission. They actually listen to us and respect our opinions!
This time, the plan is being executed in a way that permits them to avoid going through the planning commission. As a substitute, the plan was supposedly developed during a “vigorous public input” campaign. Three public meetings were held under the title of “Pedestrian Safety Improvements”. After numerous conversations with neighbors, it is our observation that most didn’t know this was happening. Others believed that the City had genuine intention to improve safety on all of our streets, and not just to improve it on some streets while deteriorating others. Still, others thought this was about pedestrians, and not about transformation of traffic capacity, treating our streets disproportionately. Here are some points to consider:
- Throughout the entire process, the notion of reducing capacity of our streets was not put on the table, until the end of the last meeting. There was no reason for anyone to expect that distorting our neighborhood traffic capacity could be a possible outcome. Please review the charts from the second meeting. There is nothing said about safety sizing, except a cryptic message about 2 lane vs 4 lane crosswalks. This oversight bred complacency and apathy in our neighborhood.
- We reviewed the attendance list. There are 3,513 residents of the Old North End, and only 35 showed up to the final meeting. Slightly less than 1%. There were only 7 residents of Nevada present. Do you think attendance would have been better if the first two meetings mentioned safety sizing as an option? Of course it would. So why didn’t they mention it?
- Safety sizing all four streets has been a flagship objective of the ONEN board, and countless neighbors for many years. There were approximately 70 ONEN residents who attended one meeting or more. One may reasonably conclude that a few of them mentioned the highest priority of our neighborhood, which is to safety size all four streets. We certainly did. Yet this idea does not appear as something that was requested by the public! How was this request not recognized in the City public outreach process?
- The meetings were titled “Old/Near North End Transportation Study”. Nevada is, by far, the most significant transportation street through ONEN and CC. Yet, after the entire study was complete and settled, the conclusion report suggested that Nevada Ave concerns might be addressed in “a specific work session on Nevada Avenue” in spring of 2018. This is absurd, and illustrative of the true intent. Nevada was evidently not an object of consideration during the study. Nevada issues are deferred to be addressed at some unspecified later date. How can Nevada be neglected in an ONEN transportation study?
- Quoted here is the invitation to the second meeting: “Residents are invited to participate in the third in a series of meetings to discuss how to address transportation and safety concerns in the Old/Near North End neighborhoods. This meeting will specifically address criteria for pedestrian safety and bicycle infrastructure and discuss options based on resident input and engineering best practices that could be implemented to create a more pleasant residential neighborhood while accommodating existing and future traffic.” This does not say anything about transformation of our street capacities. From this, many people assumed it was a meeting to talk about crosswalks and traffic lights. The true intent appears to have been obscured.