Local solutions combined with regional strategy
We are all frustrated by the increase of traffic and congestion on our highways and local streets. As Colorado, the metro area and Arvada continue to grow, our mobility is becoming more restricted. That’s why I have made transportation one of my highest priorities as Mayor.
I worked tirelessly for the opening of RTD’s Gold Line. The G Line will reduce congestion on our local roads and highways—and speed up our commuting across the metro area. Efforts around Arvada’s stations have revitalized areas of our community with new transit-oriented housing, shops, restaurants and parks. Arvada is leading the way on reaping community-wide benefits from our transit resources and reducing our reliance on cars.
We still need to maintain our local streets and fix those potholes. To make that happen, we have taken every step possible to sharpen our budgeting pencil to find more resources for road maintenance and repairs. Arvada’s citizens expect that from our City, and we have delivered.
Through citizen input and unanimous City Council support, we passed Issue 3F in 2018, funding major road improvements on Ralston Road and West 72nd Avenue. These projects will improve safety for pedestrians and drivers, reduce traffic congestion and increase transit mobility—without a tax increase for Arvadans.
Arvada is part of a large metro area, and the ability to move swiftly and safely to work, school, shopping and recreation hinges on regional cooperation. Breaking free of gridlock requires multiple modes of transportation as well as many partners to develop needed infrastructure.
I have worked for many years, beyond our City’s boundaries, to forge coalitions and new strategies to address our region’s transportation and mobility needs. This includes chairing the Metro Mayors Caucus Transportation Committee and working toward the successful launch of the Jefferson Parkway. These efforts will help Arvada build and connect to a transportation network for the future.
The Jefferson Parkway
The Jefferson Parkway has been planned for and anticipated since the 1960s. Regional planners have recognized the value of having this Parkway as an important component of removing regional traffic off of our local roads. Having regional traffic utilizing a regional Parkway assists in air quality in addition to reducing congestion on our local roads.
Today, it is more important than ever—due to regional growth—that personal and commercial vehicles have an efficient roadway system that keeps those vehicles off Indiana, Ward, Simms, Kipling, Wadsworth, 86/88th, 80th, 72nd, 64th, 58th/Ralston Road and 52nd.
Our City Council was very deliberate in requiring notice to all potential home buyers in the neighborhoods around the Parkway, but it is still important to address their concerns, as the Parkway Authority has been doing. I sit on the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority, and I will require the successful bidder to address and provide a very high level of noise and light mitigation. However, this is the perfect opportunity for a public-private partnership. The fact that there were several very qualified proposers to plan, finance, build and operate the Parkway demonstrates the financial viability of this project. The three finalists who will bid on the project will be given very specific requirements to ensure the safety of both motorists and property owners affected by the Parkway.
Biking and Walkability
My wife Luanne and I have been riding our tandem bike throughout Arvada and the region for years. It brings a smile to my face to see the number of citizens who utilize this system and who send a friendly wave while we share the trails. I have been an advocate for Safe Routes to School initiatives and constructing our missing links on both our sidewalks and trails systems. Arvada has received recognition as a Bike Friendly community, and I have worked with our team on designated bike lanes and routes. As we look to the construction of the Jefferson Parkway, an important component will be a bike/pedestrian trail component.
I am extremely proud of our successful efforts to bring a park within a 10 minute walk of every resident of Arvada. Our strong economic-development efforts, including funding generated by AURA, have given Arvada the resources to maintain and expand our park, trail and bike system, and when re-elected, I will continue to put an emphasis on this important quality-of-life asset for our community.