How to Improve Downtown

We’ll probably see a lot of melting today, as the temperature will be in the 40s with some sun. The forecast calls for mid-50s by Wednesday.

The Downtown Development Authority will meet tonight at 6:30 in City Council Chambers. This will be Councilor Charis-Graves’ first meeting as a member of this board. Some members of the Golden Urban Renewal Authority will attend the meeting, so the two boards can discuss potential downtown projects.

Golden Urban Renewal Authority Streetscape Project

Golden’s first urban renewal authority project was the historic downtown. In the late 1980s, downtown was run down and had lots of vacant storefronts, so Golden established an Urban Renewal Authority to make it more attractive and encourage business growth. As the downtown tax base improved, a portion of the increased tax revenue went into GURA’s coffers for reinvestment. By the time GURA’s downtown mission finished after 25 years, they were left with a substantial surplus.

Rather than turn that money (currently about $2.16 million) over to the city or to the downtown development authority, GURA held on to it, earmarked for use on one or more final big projects in the downtown area. They have resisted requests to use the money for business-as-usual projects such as street and sidewalk improvements. Instead, they want to leave downtown with a significant, once-in-a-lifetime kind of improvement. Many things have been considered over the years, including a new park, another parking garage, a pedestrian mall, significant artwork, etc. Tonight, GURA and the DDA will discuss the current list of suggestions, which include contributing to affordable housing, rebuilding the downtown public restrooms, upgrading Parfet Park, and several other possibilities. Learn more by reviewing the meeting packet.

The new Mobility Transportation Advisory Board will meet for the first time tonight at 6PM. This group was formed to provide public input to decisions regarding roadway design, traffic calming, parking prohibition, walkability, bikeability, regional transportation planning, and RTD service in Golden. Public interest runs high on these issues, so it’s unfortunate that their first meeting will be held away from the audio-video equipment, and thus won’t be available for watching “live.” If you want to attend the meeting in person, go to the public works building at 1445 10th Street (map). If you can’t attend, keep an eye on the agenda page, and eventually an audio-only recording of the meeting will be posted. Learn more….