If you care about making a difference for Wheat Ridge, you should know about the 38th Avenue Sub Area Plan.
There is a public hearing on this plan on October 10th at the City Council meeting at City Hall at 7pm and we need your support.
If you believe Wheat Ridge should be a community that people drive to instead of racing through, you will like the 38th Avenue Sub Area Plan. Other communities have proven these approaches to be effective and we want to help Wheat Ridge prosper as well.
The plan looks at a few key things:
- Economic Revitalization
- Safety Improvements
- Road Diet
The plan calls for the creation of a Leadership Committee comprised of 38th Avenue stakeholders to work together on implementing the plan and moving 38th Avenue forward. Immediate work includes marketing and branding for the area and joint efforts amongst area businesses. We will work with the real estate community to attract businesses and residents and lower vacancies on the street.
We need to make 38th Avenue more people friendly. Adding amenities to the street including landscaping and more pedestrian and patio activities can activate a place. An additional concept in the plan is moving city hall, the police station and other civic uses to 38th Avenue. These civic uses will add more people and activity to our main street.
Many parts of 38th Avenue feel unsafe for pedestrians. With a school on the corridor this must be addressed. Providing amenities (i.e. landscaping, onstreet parking) can help provide a buffer from traffic and make the street feel more safe. Importantly, adding a center turn lane throughout the corridor will help make left hand turns much safer and decrease accidents caused by sudden stopping and swerving for turning vehicles in a thru traffic lane. Emergency vehicles will have use of the dedicated center turn lane down the length of the corridor to continue to move efficiently.
A road diet is the removal of a thru traffic lane. What is proposed in this plan is the removal of a thru traffic lane on 38th Avenue in each direction from Teller to Depew. That area would be restriped to have a three-lane section with one lane of traffic in each direction and a continuous turn lane down the center. The study concluded that this diet is feasible based on the flat traffic counts of the past 30 years. Even with 15% projected growth in traffic, the street will operate efficiently and have only a small impact on how long it will take to travel the corridor. This road diet will not only aid the above elements of the plan but catalyze change and help kickoff the new Main Street feel to 38th Avenue. It gives us room to add amenities and add vitality to the street.
This is a big plan and there has already been a lot of public input in the process. You can read all about it and see the whole plan and studies at http://www.ci.wheatridge.co.us/index.aspx?nid=981.
We hope that you will join us in supporting a progressive vision for 38th Avenue. Most other places that have implemented a road diet and this type of plan had to overcome some initial skepticism. But the results have been strong.
On Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, Florida, they did a road diet in 1992. They saw:
- Increase in property values from $40 per square foot to $100 per square foot
- Vacancy reduced from 80% to 20%
- Over $300 million in private investment.
On Fourth Plain Boulevard in Vancouver, Washington, they saw:
- 52% reduction in crashes
- Measurable economic growth
- Street feels safer; increase in pedestrian activity.
For more case studies, check out this information that was shared with City Council.
Even with all this evidence, some people are afraid of change. They hope that somehow the status quo will improve instead of continuing to decline. The recent businesses that have come to 38th Avenue have been attracted to the vision of being a part of revitalization and change. Let’s continue that momentum and help businesses grow.
Show up and speak in support or wear a sticker showing your support at the Public Hearing on Monday, October 10 at 7pm.
Call your City Councilors and Mayor or write them an email.
To learn more, contact Wheat Ridge 2020 at 720-259-1030 or click on the links in this blog.
Your Mayor, City Council and candidates need to hear from you with your thoughts on the future of Wheat Ridge and 38th Avenue. Our elected officials should hear from all of us who support a brighter future for Wheat Ridge.
If you can join us on Monday night as a speaker or as a supporter in the crowd, please let us know at bfisher (at) wheatridge2020.org.
Posted: under Wheat Ridge 2020.
Oct 07 2011