It is hard to believe that 2015 is almost over and that I have had the privilege of representing Denver’s Lucky District 7 for almost half a year already. It has been a whirlwind since inauguration …
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It is hard to believe that 2015 is almost over and that I have had the privilege of representing Denver’s Lucky District 7 for almost half a year already. It has been a whirlwind since inauguration day, but so many exciting things have happened or are in the works for this part of Denver.
The planning process for the Broadway Station area is nearing completion. This plan, which will inform future development at the former Gates site, should be in front of Denver City Council in the first half of 2016. The station itself is the second busiest multimodal transit hub in Denver, second only to Union Station. The plan will set forth a vision for better connections from east to west, new bike lanes, new bridges over the rail lines and a new park for South Denver.
2015 also saw the opening of a brand new outdoor learning park designed to connect kids to nature; the park sits right along the South Platte River at Johnson Habitat Park. The year also marked the completion of a total remodel of Pasquinel’s Landing Park. And, construction is underway on Grant-Frontier Park which is the historic location of Montana City, the first chartered town in this area. Besides parks, a new mountain bike course is also under construction on Ruby Hill, and 2016 will bring the completion of in-stream improvements to the South Platte, making the riverway better for fish, birds and people. Lastly, groundbreaking is set to happen for the Levitt Pavilion, a free cultural facility that will bring an outdoor live music venue to Ruby Hill. Not to leave out youth: public meetings are also underway on what a new and improved playground at Washington Park should look like.
Approving the 2016 budget was on the agenda for the new council just a few months after inauguration, and this year’s provides a larger investment than ever before in transportation options for folks needing to move around the city. There will also be more money than ever to support affordable housing, and money has been set aside for implementing reforms in our Sheriff's Department. We also set aside $3 million to start proactively managing for the Emerald Ash Borer that threatens to kill over 300,000 trees in our city over the next decade. This aggressive approach will ensure that we preserve our urban canopy while planting new trees now to replace the ones that will die, and it ensures we will be prepared to deal with the biggest threat Denver’s urban forest has ever faced.
2015 also brought the addition of new public art along Broadway from Louisiana to Mexico and a new mural on the Evans Street bridge crossing Santa Fe. Farther north on Broadway, one lane was converted into a two-way pop-up bike lane for three days to kick off a study of the corridor to see how to add options for how people move through and to Broadway.
And, many recall that in November a new Westin hotel opened at Denver’s airport. The hotel was in the original master plan for DIA, and it certainly came in handy during the recent blizzard when over 400 flights were cancelled. Looking forward, but still to DIA, on April 22 a new train will officially start taking passengers from Denver’s Union Station to the airport. Not to leave out South Denver: travel from our neighborhood to the rest of the world will get even easier requiring just one train transfer to connect from any of the four light rail stops in District 7 to the downtown-to-airport line.
The memories I made romping around Wash Park all summer long as a kid helped to shape my love for this city, and I carry those moments with me into every Monday night vote. There are few easy decisions, and I still often struggle with how complex issues, each with many facets, have to be translated into a simple yes or no vote. I work hard to make sure I do my best to continue to preserve the great things about this city that brought my parents here and that provided the backdrop for my childhood, and I constantly strive to improve on the areas in which we as a district must get better. District 7 is a vibrant and diverse district, and I am honored to represent it. It isn’t easy work, but for me, it is truly a labor of love. Have a concern or a great idea? Reach out anytime: email@example.com or 720-337-7777.
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