March 20, 2019

Keeping “Golden” in Our New Light Rail Station Name

The Jeffco end-of-line station (RTD photo).

I come across a lot of head-scratchers, but this one stands out. The Jefferson County Commissioners are insisting on naming the new light rail station “Jefferson County Government Center,” and are refusing to discuss any possible alternatives. I’m not a marketing person, but it seems to me that “government center” just isn’t a very effective marketing approach, and that anyone using the light rail station to get to the Jeffco campus will easily figure out which line and which stop they need, regardless of what the station name is. But the station serves much more than just the Taj; it also serves Colorado School of Mines, MillerCoors, downtown Golden, other Golden neighborhoods, and other portions of unincorporated Jefferson County. The station name ought to be much more focused on helping to draw visitors to all of those other locations.

The RTD board will make the final decision on May 17, and the RTD staff is recommending “Jefferson County Government Center – Golden Station.” It’s not a great name, but it is a lot better than the county’s choice and at least it is much more fair to Golden (and Golden has contributed a great deal to the project). The Golden City Council sent a letter to the RTD Board expressing our support for their staff recommendation.

What can you do? First, send an email to Golden’s two RTD board representatives, Lorraine Anderson (lorraine.anderson@rtd-denver.com) and Matt Cohen (matt.cohen@rtd-denver.com). Lorraine (who represents most of Golden) told me she is planning to support the county’s proposal (i.e., I believe she opposes including “Golden” in the name). Matt (who represents a small portion of southern Golden) is supporting the staff recommendation (i.e., including “Golden”). Second, send an email to the county commissioners (fgriffin@jeffco.us, drosier@jeffco.us, jodom@jeffco.us).

Please be polite and respectful, but you can clearly express your preference and ask that they think about the long-term benefit to everyone if we use a name that includes Golden, in addition to the simple issue of fairness.

Finally, if you are able, you can attend the RTD board meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17. I believe the meeting is at the RTD building in LoDo (1600 Blake St. right next to the Market Street Station).