May 23, 2018

Keeping the Beltway Out of Golden – "Get The Facts Golden" Web Site Live

I have been and remain a committed opponent of the beltway, and during my five years on City Council I’ve worked extremely hard – successfully – to keep the beltway out of Golden. I believe this is true of everyone on the City Council (and city staff as well) . . . you will find across the board a fierce commitment to protecting our community from the beltway.

Golden is at a crossroads in this multi-decade fight and we are energetically reaching out to share with everyone the options and the risks and trade-offs of each.

One important part: the brand new “Get the Facts Golden” web site. We’ve done our best to lay out the options based on the best facts and analysis, and to describe the advantages and disadvantages of each. We’ve included maps and drawings of Golden’s own “Muller Plan” for fixing transportation problems in Golden now and preventing them in the future, and maps illustrating the beltway proponents’ current proposal for a shorter “Jefferson Parkway” north of Golden. Those challenges include noise, pollution, congestion, neighborhood connections, and safety. We invite all Golden residents to ask questions – we will answer them all – and to weigh in with your views.

In addition to the web site, we’ve got four neighborhood open houses scheduled in the coming weeks. You are welcome to come to whichever one best fits your schedule.

* Southern Neighborhoods: Monday, Jan. 31, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Shelton Elementary
* Central Neighborhoods: Tuesday, Feb. 1, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Fossil Trace Clubhouse
* Northern Neighborhoods: Wednesday, Feb. 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Mitchell Elementary
* Daytime Open House: Wednesday, Feb. 9, 1-3 p.m. at City Council Chambers

One group of Golden residents has taken a sharp position on the question of which strategy makes the most sense going forward, arguing that Golden should never reach an agreement with Jefferson County even if it means that Golden’s own traffic problems – noise, pollution, safety, neighborhood connections, and congestion – continue to worsen. This view has some advantages and disadvantages just like the other main option of trying to work out an agreement with Jefferson County. It is a legitimate view, and I respect their opinion, but their tone and approach is disappointing: they are disparaging community members who disagree with them and they are misrepresenting City Council’s own views. Our job on the City Council is to make sure everyone in the community has access to good information about both options and that everyone has a chance to weigh in, and we are following through on that responsibility.

Everyone is committed to the fight against the beltway, and our challenge now is to have a respectful community conversation about which of our options makes the most sense. I don’t expect everyone to agree – I’ve heard views from community members that span the entire range of opinions – but we will work hard to make sure everyone has good information and a fair assessment of the options.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Comments

  1. juliem2663 says:

    Mayor Smith, you have the floor.

    You said you were opposed and would fight the beltway when you came to my door prior to the election. I am a registered Republican and I voted for you based on that platform. Above, you state you are still opposed, however, the word is out that you and the City Council are in negotiations to end the opposition to the toll road in exhange for money for road planning and possibly money for a few construction projects.

    All I am asking is if this is true or not true. Are you bartering to allow the tollroad through just to get assistance in other areas?

    Those who voted for you (and will vote again in the next election for you and other Council members) have a right to a honest and to the point answer. I would hope that my faith in you all those months ago on my doorstep were not a political ploy to get elected. This City deserves better.

    I look forward to your comments.

    J. Morrison – Mtn Ridge Homeowner

    • Jacob Smith says:

      Thanks for taking the time to write a comment. I have, do, and will oppose the beltway. In my role on the City Council and as mayor I have led the City Council fight against the beltway coming through Golden – successfully – and will continue to do so. But here’s our dilemma as a community. The beltway proponents have now reduced their proposal to a ten-mile toll road well north of Golden, which is a success on our part . . . we’ve been so effective at keeping them out of Golden that they are now aiming for something more modest. Unfortunately, our ability to stop that plan, precisely because it’s outside of Golden, is much diminished, and even if we succeed we still don’t have any way to build the “Safe, Slow, and Quiet” Muller Plan in town that’s also been part of our long-term strategy for protecting Golden from both the beltway and growing traffic impacts. We have the potential option now of an agreement that would drop our opposition to the Jefferson Parkway (while we would remain opposed to and would continue to fight any attempt to build a beltway through Golden) in exchange for starting to implement our own Muller Plan in Golden. I and City Council are presenting this to the community, doing our best to highlight the risks and tradeoffs of both options (try to reach an agreement or keep fighting), and asking the community to weigh in.

      The normal politician approach would be to tell the community we can have everything, but I don’t believe that’s true and I’m not a normal politician – I’ve spent nearly my entire professional life as a conservation advocate, successfully forcing government agencies to follow the law and to be sound environmental stewards. None of our options are ideal – they all have real risks and tradeoffs – and I believe City Council’s job is to do just what we are doing: ask the community. So we are asking. I’ve written a lot about this on my blog, and if you scroll back you’ll be able to read through various summary posts and posts on specific issues. Please consider weighing in here (I’ll pass your comments on to City Council), or on the GetTheFactsGolden.com website, or at any of the four neighborhood meetings starting in about a week (details at http://smithforgolden.com/2011/01/18/get-the-facts-golden/).

      I have always opposed the beltway, and my commitment during my campaigns and while serving as an elected representative has always been unequivocal: I am opposed to and will fight to protect Golden from the beltway.