A Denver City Council committee approved a plan Wednesday to transform the blighted area near the I-25 & Broadway RTD station into a vibrant place to live, work and play, but some neighbors are concerned there is no concrete plan about where to park.
"If I live in this neighborhood, and I want to get to an Avs game, this is where I park, and I can't find a place to park," said Scott Bolt, the co-president of the Ruby Hill-Godsman Neighborhood's Association, who has been involved in the planning process.
He pointed to a partially gravel and dirt lot that has been full all day long with commuters who currently leave their cars while they ride the light rail downtown.
"Under the plan, I believe that this parking lot will be developed and it will not exist," said Bolt. "RTD hasn’t really got a concrete plan of how they’re going to move forward."
While Bolt agreed that the blighted area needs to be developed, he is also concerned about traffic in the already congested neighborhood.
"Anybody who drives on Broadway, you realize how bad the traffic is now even before the development has happened," said Bolt.
City planners have said that the plan would make it easier for people to walk or bike to the RTD station with pedestrian bridges and improved facilities, but they are also working on a parking management strategy that happens in phases.
"Over time, that parking would become a part of the development opposed to becoming a free-standing surface parking lot," said David Gaspers, principal city planner for the City of Denver. "So, it's going to be a process to make sure we’re managing parking, not only today but over the planned horizon of 20 years."
On Wednesday afternoon, a city council committee unanimously approved the proposed plan, after asking questions about concerns including parking and traffic.
"I'm excited. It's going to be good," said Bolt, who wants to see changes from blight to beautiful, but is still concerned about logistics. "Is there a thought about putting a parking garage in this area to address the commuters or is there some kind of incentive for commuters coming from the south metro area to park at other lots? These are questions that need to be asked."
The plan will be presented to the full city council on April 4.