Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community
[Note: This, and other RalstonCommunity.org menu items, are hopelessly out of date and need to be revised to update the changed and inactive links. If you need specific information before that gets done, just email the CLRC secretary at email@example.com .]
13 January 2011
What are your neighborhood issues?
- Extending the park to the west of Garrison into the Arvada Triangle/Plaza development
- Paying to restore recreational facilities lost from the North Jeffco Community Park over the years
- Continuing to push for a pool within the current boundary of the park
- Ralston Road Corridor Study
- Traffic and Parking
- Petitioning the City for more public review before the new Central Park’s design is finalized
- The replacement of the Garrison Street bridge and associated construction activities
- A new Carr Street park
- AURA development issues
What are your neighborhood issues? Many have been suggested. But not all can be the focus of a neighborhood association in the short-term and some may simply not be feasible at all. Here is a short list of the ones that tend to come up most often. None of these are endorsements. Suggestions are welcome for more issues to add. Critiques of what is already on the list is also welcome. We hope to go over a revised list at our first general meeting in early February to see what you think is important and what our first priorities should be.
CLRC membership recruitment: The number of individual hits on the web site are high, but only a couple of dozen have signed up to receive automatic updates. Without more signed-up members, we cannot do effective polling on current issues and we may not be recognized as an organization that represents the thoughts of the neighborhood. What are your suggestions for increasing membership? Should there be two membership levels (participating and keep-me-informed)? More fliers, newspaper ads, door-to-door volunteers, presentation to churches and local businesses?
News articles and opinion pieces: Currently, there are only four contributors to news and opinion pieces on the CLRC’s website at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org. We need our members to be the eyes and ears of what’s happening in our community. Ideally, every public meeting that covers a subject of interest to the neighborhood should have a reporter there. We also need a diversity of opinion pieces. What are your ideas for encouraging that? Can you contribute by attending public meetings, writing articles, regularly scanning other websites?
Extending the park to the west of Garrison into the Arvada Triangle/Plaza development: This is a big undertaking, but the potential benefits are huge. It could take parking pressure off the current park site and allow more park facilities. If the money can be found, there could be room west of Garrison Street for a recreational facility and an indoor or outdoor pool. Extensive cooperation with the City and AURA would be needed to make that happen. Should the CLRC pursue that option?
Funding recreational facilities lost from the North Jeffco Community Park over the years: In cooperation with the City, it may be possible to capture outside funding for recreational facilities just outside of the park. Jefferson County’s Open Space funding could be used to purchase properties in the Triangle area and that, in turn, could be used to leverage other funding sources. What are your ideas for funding additional recreational improvements in or just outside of the new park?
Moving Garrison Street toward the west: Realigning Garrison Street between the new Ralston Creek bridge and Ralston Road farther to the west would allow more room for park facilities and parking. It would also provide an easier connection to 57th Avenue when Garrison Street is finally pushed through to the south. The finished grade would be less steep and less earth would have to be removed to make the connection. Should the association take a position on moving the road?
Continuing to push for a pool within the current boundary of the park: The City has already said that the pool will not fit in the available space, yet most area residents still seem to favor a pool in the park. The lack-of-space issue is disputed. Some think a summer splash pad for children is an okay substitute. Others think the planned splash pad needs to be supplemented by a pool and other recreational facilities near the park. What do you think? What strategies should the association pursue?
Petitioning the City for more public review before the new Central Park’s design is finalized: Currently, the City plans to allow for no more public input sessions before the new park’s plans are finalized. Everything from pedestrian access, to fencing, to noise barriers, to new tree locations, to parking allotments, to included facilities, to new tree locations and many more design details are still not settled. The fate of about half the trees in the park have yet to be decided. Also at issue is the amount of embankment that should remain above the flood plain on the south side of the park. As one City official put it, “You only want to do the embankment work once.” Should the association push for more review and input before these plans are completed?
Traffic: Everyone has some traffic issues, but exactly what they are and what should be done about them can vary widely within even a couple of blocks. So what are your traffic issues?
Parking: Pretty much the same issues as for traffic. What are your neighborhood rking issues?
The replacement of the Garrison Street bridge and associated construction activities: The new bridge and Ralston Creek channel widening are much needed, but this also involves a lengthy closing of Garrison Street and also affects pedestrian and bike access through the construction site. Moreover, an awful lot of dirt (embankment) will have to be removed from Holland to Carr Street and that material may have to be hauled down residential streets. That could well mean a fleet of large trucks going past some people’s homes. Construction detours can create their own problems. Should the association try to review and comment on these kinds of construction activities?
Bike paths and walkability issues: These are essential in a livable Ralston Community. They not only tie in with access to the new park but also with that to the increased enrollment of the K-8 school at Balsam and Ralston. They also relate to the Ralston Road Corridor Study being done by the City’s traffic department. Those plans will call for much safer sidewalks and more frequent crossing points for Ralston Road. The City has completed an extensive bike/pedestrian study, but there is no implementation plan yet. The design of the new park’s mixed use paths (peds, bikes, joggers) has not been finalized. What should the City’s priorities be for constructing and maintaining these pathways?
A new Carr Street park: The possibility of a new park adjacent to the K – 8 school creates some great opportunities for the development of the Ralston community. Should the CLRC wait to see what happens here or should we take a more active role?
The Ralston Road corridor study: This study is still not complete and does not yet have even the beginnings of an implementation plan. The final four design concepts call for parallel parking on Ralston Road from Olde Town to the Triangle. Bicycle paths have been eliminated from the final designs. The proposed widenings could have a significant impact on existing local businesses along the corridor and affect adjacent residential parking. And more commercial development is being contemplated in the ‘green zone’ between Olde Town and Garrison Street. Recommendations have not yet been made for mid-block crossings on Ralston Road. Should the association provide a coordinated response to these planning suggestions?
AURA development issues: The work that AURA (the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority) does in trying to attract private investment to redevelop its two urban renewal districts at each end of our neighborhood presents lots of opportunities for the neighborhood. The organization has the power to acquire the rights to properties both near Olde Town and in the Triangle. What are your ideas for cooperating with this important City-sponsored agency?
Apex planning issues: It can vary, but typically the City manages the parks and Apex (formerly, North Jeffco) manages the recreational facilities in those parks. Apex’s city-wide activities are funded by a mill levy (typically about $100 per household per year) and by user’s fees. The City and Apex frequently cooperate on seeking funding grants for facilities improvements. Unlike AURA, Apex is independent and was not created by the City of Arvada. But the question is the same as it is for AURA. What are your ideas for cooperating with this important improvement district?
Membership surveys: One of the powerful benefits of a neighborhood association is the ability to poll its membership and report the results of that polling back to the City, AURA and Apex. Even if members cannot always speak with one voice on an issue, the percentages of those who support each position can be valuable feedback to the governmental agencies who serve our needs. When we get enough participation to have a valid polling sample, what are the first questions we should be asking?
Organizational issues: On our ABOUT US website page, we say the CLRC is going to be as informal as we can be, but perhaps we should take the opportunity to confirm that when we meet. The next step might be to ask for membership dues so we could reach out to the public, especially the neighborhood, by putting ads in the paper and printing up more fliers and cards. We could also hire our own meeting halls. So far we’ve avoided that. What do you think?
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