by John Kiljan,
Dear CLRC members and friends,
We’re still catching up on neighborhood happenings. Here are a few more.
NEW PEDESTRIAN CROSSING AT ESTES STREET?
In late April we reported that the signalized pedestrian crossing recently removed from Ralston Road at Field Street would not be replaced after construction. That’s still true, but City Traffic says it recognizes the need for at least one new pedestrian crossing between Garrison Street and Carr Street.
The location for a new crossing might not be chosen until after the new park at Garrison Street opens up late next year. Right now, it’s unclear where young adults going from the new Wolff Park and the Arvada K-8 school to the reconstructed Garrison Street park will want to cross the road. Sidewalks on the south side of the road are often icy in winter, and there are segments with no sidewalks at all along the north side of the Ralston Road. It’s also uncertain how much pedestrian traffic will be attracted to the new (in 2013) safe-routes-to-school sidewalk along the west side of the Arvada Community Gardens.
Nevertheless, City Manager Mark Deven says it is highly likely that a new Ralston Road crossing will be installed at or near Estes Street. That won’t be easy. City traffic engineer Patty Lorence says design standards for safe pedestrian crossings have changed a lot since the old Field Street pedestrian crossing was built in the 1960’s. There are now stricter spacing requirements for adjacent private driveways. Private driveways are frequent along this part of Ralston Road.
The only practical way to meet those new requirements may be to build a fully signalized (and more expensive) intersection at Estes Street. But Mr Deven says there is certainly a need for a safe crosswalk there, and the City can move quickly on construction once a decision has been made. Estes Street is halfway between Carr and Garrison streets.
HAZARDS AT THE CLOSED PARK
Unlike many construction sites, the park at Garrison Street can’t be completely fenced off during construction. Gaps (and pull downs) in the orange plastic construction fencing are frequent. This makes it tempting for nearby residents (or their kids) to wander in and have a look around after construction hours — or just to take a shortcut through the park at anytime. Open postholes, scattered nails, broken sidewalks, asbestos, demolition debris, soft embankments and the like aren’t the only hazards on the construction site. Even the orange fencing itself can give someone a nasty cut if they brush against it the wrong way.
There is another hazard, too: You might get busted. Contractors want a safe workplace and they expect the City police to help protect their work and equipment from vandalism when they are not there. Here’s a short quote from a recent YourHub crime page that underscores the risk of trespass in the closed park: “On April 19, an Arvada Police officer observed a man on a bike riding across the street at [Ralston Road] and Field Street. The man then threw his bike over the top of an orange construction fence that was around a closed park and cut the fence so he could get through. He was issued a summons for criminal mischief.”
OPEN HOUSE ON PARK RECONSTRUCTION
Despite a strong effort by the City to get information out to the public, many people have been surprised by the start of heavy construction at the Garrison Street park. If you are one of them, or if, like me, you are just wondering what the impacts of construction will be on your own part of the neighborhood, you should mark your calendar for Tuesday June 5th, 6:00 pm to 8:00pm. An open-house meeting is being held that evening by District 3 City Council member Shelley Cook. City Staff will be there to provide information and to answer any questions about the park’s reconstruction and flood control work. The meeting will be open to everyone and will be held in the ground floor Atrium inside City Hall.
And, while you are marking your calendars, make a note of the date of the next Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community‘s general meeting. The CLRC’s annual meeting will be held from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Thursday July 19th at the old public library — now the Arvada Community Food Bank. Look for additional CLRC articles on both of these meetings as information becomes available.
OLDE TOWN ROAD CLOSURES
Expect to see traffic patterns changing around Olde Town next month — as well as a few backups — as Olde Wadsworth is closed south of Grandview for about six weeks. The utility work that is the beginning of construction for the Gold Line in Olde Town has already started on Vance Street and that work is expected to close a segment of Grandview next week. Utility work will then move onto Olde Wadsworth soon after. Both RTD and the City are expected to post frequent closure and construction information on their websites. There’s more on that below.
Coming CLRC Notes: Apex’s 2020 recreation plans, park project cost underruns, CLRC’s spring/summer meeting plans, parking developments in Olde Town, the condition of Memorial Park and more.
WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
The new safe-routes-to-school sidewalk to be built from 57th Avenue down the hill to Ralston Road along the Garrison Street alignment was the subject of a previous CLRC Notes article at this link:
As with these notes, you should be able to enlarge any picture by simply clicking on it.
The City puts out updates on the park’s construction progress from time to time on this web page:
There is no Arvada.org web page just for Gold Line construction, but the City does put out periodic notices. Here is a link to the most recent one I’ve seen concerning road closures in Olde Town:
RTD does have a website that has updates on FasTracks road construction closures. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have anticipated reopening dates. Still, this is a good link to bookmark:
Or you can contact the contractor’s representative for the Gold Line and ask to be put on their email list for construction notices. Email Tariana Navas-Nieves at Tariana.Navas@dtpjv.com or call her at 303-576-3352 or 720-775-9582 (cell).
The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community has a website at http://www.ralstoncommunity.org/ with all of our past posts on these subjects. You can also friend us on Facebook. Our name is ‘Ralston Arvada.’
John Kiljan, CLRC Notes: 303-423-9875 or firstname.lastname@example.org