October 20, 2018

FWS Toll Highway Hearing Thursday Evening

The Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

Here’s the city’s official alert about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service public hearing Thursday evening. Please come if you can, and either way please consider submitting written comments by the October 31 deadline as well.

Citizens concerned about proposed Jefferson Parkway toll road can make their voices heard
Public encouraged to speak out at meeting on Oct. 13, submit written comments by Oct. 31

The Rocky Flats National Wildlife Act, enacted by Congress in 2001, requires that a corridor of land up to 300 feet wide along Indiana Street be made available for transportation improvements.

The City of Golden has proposed using this corridor of land adjacent to the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge for a bike route. The Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority (JPPHA) has proposed a major new toll road and bike route for the same piece of land, packaging it as part of a land exchange.

The choice between the two will be a pivotal decision that will impact the entire Northwest metro region, including Boulder and Jefferson counties.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service appears to be laying the groundwork to support the toll highway option, but there may still be an opportunity to impact that decision.
We believe a balanced and comprehensive review will demonstrate that Golden’s proposal is the better solution that will be more compatible with the region’s natural resources and transportation system.

The construction of the Jefferson Parkway, absent the mitigation proposed by Golden, would seriously degrade both the environment and quality of life in Jefferson County.

It’s important that Golden residents and others concerned about the potential negative impacts of the proposed Jefferson Parkway toll road make their voices heard in this process.

If you live in Golden or have opinions about whether this portion of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge should be turned into a toll highway or a bikeway, please attend an upcoming public meeting and submit written comments.

We encourage citizens to comment as part of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Environmental Assessment process. If possible, email comments and attend the meeting.

· Email comments to RockyFlatsEA@fws.gov by Oct. 31.

· Attend the public meeting on Oct. 13 at the Westminster City Park Recreation Center.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., the meeting begins at 6 p.m. and continues until 8 p.m. The Westminster City Park Recreation Center is located at 10455 Sheridan Blvd. in Westminster. The meeting will consist of a presentation by Rocky Flats Refuge staff, who will provide an overview of the Environmental Assessment, followed by a period during which the public can provide comments.

· If you don’t use email, please send a letter with your comments before Oct. 31 to:

Mike Dixon, Ph.D.
Division of Refuge Planning
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 25486, DFC
Denver, CO 80225

and

Bruce Hastings, Ph.D.
Deputy Refuge Manager
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
6550 Gateway Road
Building 129
Commerce City, CO 80022

Here are some key points that you may want to include in your comments:

· The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should not consider the effects of the land exchange proposed by the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority without considering the full implications of building the Jefferson Parkway toll road.

· The proposed Jefferson Parkway toll road would create sprawl and worsen traffic, both of which would negatively impact the region.

· The proposed multi-lane toll road would have a much bigger and much more negative impact on the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge than the bike route proposed by Golden.

· The Fish and Wildlife Service should not rely on the 2004 federal Rocky Flats Environmental Impact Statement, which is a dated document that does not reflect the current Jefferson Parkway toll road plan. That document did not consider the broader regional effects of the toll road, including noise, traffic and sprawl.

· The Jefferson Parkway issue is so integral to the future of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge that the Fish and Wildlife Service should consider it as part of its Environmental Assessment.

Rocky Flats Toll Highway Environmental Assessment and Public Meeting

Looking west at the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, the route of the proposed toll highway, and the proposed "Candelas" development area.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that they are planning to publish their Environmental Assessment on the proposed sale of the Rocky Flats right-of-way by the end of this week. The Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority proposed purchasing the right-of-way for use in their proposed Jefferson Parkway toll highway along the east side of the National Wildlife Refuge. Golden’s submission of an alternate proposal to purchase the property for use as a “Jefferson Bikeway” forced the federal agency to conduct this Environmental Assessment process comparing their alternatives.

You should be able to download the Environmental Assessment after it’s published (probably tomorrow).

The Fish and Wildlife Service seems to be planning to support the toll highway option, but there may still be an opportunity to impact that decision. If you live in Golden or have opinions about whether this portion of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge should be turned into a toll highway or a bikeway, I strongly encourage you to attend the public meeting on October 13. You’ll also have until October 30 to submit written comments.

The details:

  • Thursday, October 13
  • 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
  • Westminster City Park Recreation Center
  • 10455 Sheridan Blvd. in Westminster

Our understanding is that they will start with an open house format, make a formal presentation at 6pm, and then open up a formal public hearing.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Hold Open House on Refuge Land Exchange

Part of the Rocky Flats right-of-way and the proposed Candelas development (looking southwest).

The City of Golden just put out an announcement on an upcoming beltway-related meeting. This one specifically relates to the proposed sale of right-of-way on the east side of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge. The JPPHA submitted a proposal to purchase this land for construction of their proposed toll highway, while Golden submitted a competing proposal to purchase it for a bikeway. Please attend if you are able on Wednesday, July 20. Details below:

The City of Golden has submitted a bid to purchase a corridor of land, presently owned by the U.S. Department of the Interior as part of the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge, along Indiana Avenue. The City has also offered to purchase other environmentally sensitive lands and do a land exchange with the Refuge. If Golden is successful, the city will create a pedestrian and bicycle path on the corridor just west of Indiana Street.

However, Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge is seriously considering a bid from the Jefferson Parkway Authority, which plans to build a toll road on along the corridor.

If accepted, Golden’s proposal would have many benefits for Golden and the region as a whole, including:

  • Stopping the toll road from being built on what is now conservation land.
  • Potentially stopping or seriously delaying the entire toll road/ beltway concept.
  • Protecting important wildlife habitat.
  • Preventing the sprawl, noise and pollution that would come with a the proposed highway.
  • Providing alternate transportation now sorely lacking in this region.
  • Provide healthy recreational opportunities to Jefferson County residents.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who owns the land, is holding a public open house to “help determine the appropriate level of environmental review” and is asking the public to comment on the “expansion” of the refuge through land exchange. The open house is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20 at Westminster City Park Recreation Center, 10455 Sheridan Blvd. in Westminster.

In this case, a full environmental review would be extremely beneficial to Golden’s proposal, since a pedestrian and bicycle path would have very little negative environmental impact compared to a toll highway. Likewise, the “expansion” of the refuge should not come at the expense of wildlife habitats, as it will with a toll road.

For more information, read the documents related to Golden’s application:

Golden’s application to purchase the right-of-way.
Addendum #1 to Golden’s application.
Addendum #2 to Golden’s application.

Your voice is needed. If at all possible, please attend the upcoming open house. Additionally, please email or write a letter before July 29 (when public comment closes). In your letters, please ask that a full environmental impact study be done on any proposals and that all future land transfer agreements cause minimal environmental harm and instead augment preservation efforts as well benefit human health. Additionally, request that the full regional effects of a new toll road on sprawl and on Golden be considered and compared to the effects of a bikeway. Specifically ask that any land exchanges take place only if a multi-lane toll road will not be built on transferred land:

Send an email to both of the following:
Mike Dixon: RockFlatsEA@fws.gov
Bruce Hastings, Deputy Refuge Manager: RockyFlatsEA@fws.gov

Send a letter to both of the following:
Mike Dixon
Division of Refuge Planning
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 25486, DFC
Denver, CO 80225

AND

Bruce Hastings, Deputy Refuge Manager
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
6550 Gateway Road
Building 129
Commerce City, CO 80022

City Council Adopts 2011 Priorities

On Thursday night City Council formally adopted priorities for 2011.  This is generally a continuation of the priorities we established last year, but it’s worth formally identifying them to help us stay focused and help keep the community informed about what we are focused on.

We adopted five major priorities:

1) Protecting the city’s financial health and sustaining the community’s economic vitality.

2) Supporting and strengthening our neighborhoods (“The Year of the Neighborhood”), including implementing our new neighborhood grant program, completing pending neighborhood plans, and considering all of the policy recommendations in the adopted ones.

3) Maintaining our aggressive efforts to keep the beltway out of Golden and working to protect Golden from the impacts of growing regional through the Golden Plan or similar improvements.

4) Updating the Comprehensive Plan and revamping/updating the land use process to give neighborhoods a stronger voice in shaping their own future and to make the process less adversarial and combative.

5) Revisiting and updating the city’s long-term streets plan.

Other 2011 priorities include:

1) Making sure Golden is ready for light rail in 2013, including our own community bus.

2) Adopting a preliminary strategic transportation plan (in advance of preparing a thorough one in 2012).

3) Finalize our new performance evaluation system for the city and city manager, including performance metrics

4) Review and update the long-term plans for the city’s major recreational facilities.

5) Update the city’s economic development tools, structures, and strategies. This may extend into 2012.

6) Support the Quiznos Pro Challenge Professional Bicycle Race.

And some additional 2011 projects:

1) CSM Master Plan (although the timing is up to Colorado School of Mines).

2) Clear Creek Master Plan.

3) Evaluate and consider sewer/waterline insurance. DONE – Council decided to educate community members about the value of having this insurance but not to enter into a special agreement with any specific insurance providers.

4) Consider adjusting the cost of special use permits for chickens. DONE – Council reduced the special use permit fee for keeping up to six hens.

5) Evaluate and potentially update the strategy for managing amplified outdoor music.

6) Evaluate and consider updating traffic fine schedule.

7) Evaluate and consider updating leash laws.

8) Initiate long-term city financial health evaluation.

9) Evaluate and update medical marijuana regulations.

10) Update noise mitigation priorities.

11) Complete the City of Golden web site revamp.

12) Further development, testing, and training on the new Emergency Operations Plan (primarily staff).

13) Plan for major software updates (finance, planning, police, fire, courts) (primarily

14) Major public works projects: South Reservoir and office building reconstruction (primarily staff).

15) East Downtown Vision and Plan (potentially).

City of Golden News Release: Letter to Secretary Salazar on Rocky Flats

Golden to U.S. Interior Secretary: Don’t transfer Rocky Flats land to Jefferson Parkway while negotiations are pending

GOLDEN, Colo. – March 3, 2011 — At its meeting tonight, the Golden  City Council will consider urging U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to hold off on selling a Rocky Flats parcel needed as right of way (ROW) for the proposed Jefferson Parkway as long as negotiations continue between Golden and backers of the toll road plan.

The request, to be included in a letter to the Department of the Interior (DOI) from Golden Mayor Jacob Smith, echoes a similar appeal from the City of Boulder and Boulder County, who also are negotiating with Jefferson Parkway proponents.

The Golden City Council voted unanimously on Feb. 24 to continue working towards a possible agreement around the toll road, but not to give up the City’s right to sue to stop the Jefferson Parkway unless some very specific requirements are met to protect Golden from future traffic and environmental impacts.

The City of Boulder and Boulder County’s negotiations with Jefferson Parkway focus on a different issue – the preservation of a key open-space parcel.

The Golden City decision was made after Golden officials heard from hundreds of residents at a series of four public informational meetings and at the Feb. 24 City Council session.

“In order for these negotiations to succeed, the City of Golden continues its request, and joins the requests of the City of Boulder and Boulder County, that DOI defer final action on the Rocky Flats ROW so long as real progress is being made towards settlement,” Golden’s draft  letter states.

The letter goes on to say, “Conveyance of the ROW prior to finalization of intergovernmental agreements would threaten the ability of the parties to reach agreement, because the conveyance would trigger the need for local communities to take legal actions to protect their interests.”

The Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority has indicated that it is prepared to pay $2.8 million for a 300-foot right of way along the eastern side of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge.  “The City Council has directed the city to keep negotiating in good faith but also to preserve all our options until there’s an enforceable agreement that meets Golden’s transportation needs,” said Golden City Manager Mike Bestor.  “This letter is consistent with that position, which reflects much of the input we received from Golden citizens.”

 

Golden’s Beltway Decision: Negotiate for a Stronger Deal

On Thursday night, City Council decided unanimously to continue negotiating with Jefferson County and the other Jefferson Parkway proponents, to strengthen the agreement compared to the agreement that’s been discussed over the past three months, and to tell our attorneys to suit up in case we do need to take the issue to court.  I’m always proud to be a member of the Golden community, but I was especially so on Thursday night: we had three hours of respectful, well-informed public comment (which wrapped up an intensive three-month community outreach effort) followed by another hour of thoughtful discussion and deliberation by City Council.  I believe it was a good process and a good decision.  The city manager and I will now negotiate for a stronger agreement, and if that happens we’ll bring it back to City Council in a public process to decide if it’s strong enough.  The city posted a news release with more details as well.

UPDATE: Here is the complete motion adopted by City Council:

Councilor Oxman MOVED, and Councilor Sloan seconded, that City Council direct negotiators to continue negotiations with Jefferson County, CDOT, Broomfield, Arvada and the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority relating to the Jefferson Parkway, but to seek an enhanced IGA that will provide greater certainty of funding for the priority elements of the Muller Plan; addresses noise and other pollution mitigation and monitoring for northern neighborhoods, including Mitchell Elementary; addresses improvements to Highway 93 north of Golden; addresses improvement of other arterials outside the city limits to disburse traffic; includes provisions for no non-compete agreements that will impact travel on other alternative roadways that serve the area; requires CDOT be a part of the process and agreement; addresses Rocky Flats contamination issues, particularly during construction if it occurs; and addresses timing of key roadway improvements in Golden and sequencing of those improvements before parkway construction begins.  City Council further directs the City Manager to work with the city’s attorneys to develop options for the City to challenge the Jefferson Parkway approvals in court in the event that negotiations do not timely and adequately progress in a fashion that protects the City’s position. The City Manager and the City’s attorneys shall keep the City Council appraised of litigation options and possible deadlines. The motion does not preclude the use of other strategies by the City to advance the City’s position regarding the Jefferson Parkway.

Denver Post Guest Editorial: Protecting Golden From the Beltway

I’ve got an online guest editorial in today’s Denver Post on our effort to protect Golden from the beltway.  The punch line is the same point I’ve been making for a while: we have been and remain fiercely opposed to the beltway, which is a 1950s-style transportation answer that will neither improve transportation in northwest Denver Metro nor protect our region’s considerable open space, scenic view, and wildlife habitat qualities.  But the proponents are close to going to the private market for funding for their more modest Jefferson Parkway proposal, and Golden has to choose between imperfect strategies.

City Council Beltway Discussion and Decision Scheduled for Feb. 24

For two decades now, Golden has been fighting proposals to build a beltway through our community. We have been successful so far: there is no beltway plowing through Golden, and close to two years ago CDOT set aside its own plan to push a six- or eight-lane high-speed superhighway through town. But the proponents – primarily Jefferson County, Arvada, and Broomfield – came up with an alternative plan to build a ten-mile toll highway north of Golden (not through Golden) using private investment dollars.

We oppose this new proposal, known as the Jefferson Parkway, just as we oppose the beltway itself, but it’s tougher for us to stop because it isn’t within our city limits and because it doesn’t directly rely on public funding. The proponents have two main hurdles remaining. One is getting property they need along Indiana from the U.S. Department of Interior, and the other is getting the financing from the private sector. Why is Golden addressing the beltway issue right now? It’s because the proponents are very close to getting this property, and they are very close to going to the market for the investment dollars. If they raise the money, our only remaining option would be suing to try and stop them.

Can the proponents actually raise the capital needed to build the Jefferson Parkway? They are very optimistic about it, and while we are more skeptical the reality is that we don’t know. We believe anyone who invests in the Jefferson Parkway will lose their shirt, but clearly there are investors out there willing to throw down huge sums on bad deals. It’s also clear that the Jefferson Parkway proponents are going to move forward with their funding effort regardless of what we think.

In other words, our hand is now being forced, and we need to pick which strategy we believe gives us the best chance of keeping the beltway out of Golden: either trying to reach an agreement that protects Golden from the beltway and from the impacts of growing traffic through our valley, or don’t try reaching an agreement and instead look at trying to stop them through litigation. I’ve written elsewhere about the risks and tradeoffs with those options, and our www.GetTheFactsGolden.com website also has a very thorough rundown.

We brought all of this to the community in early December, as well as information about a potential agreement with Jefferson County, and asked you – everyone in the community – what you think. We put up a web site (www.GetTheFactsGolden.com) with the background information, we hosted four neighborhood meetings, and we’ve responded to a ton of email messages, returned tons of phone calls, and had numerous one-on-one conversations around town. We’ve done our best to provide all of the relevant information as candidly and accurately as possible, to answer all of your questions, and to listen carefully to all of your thoughts and ideas. More than 400 people attended the neighborhood meetings and the website logged nearly 2,000 visits.

A lot of folks have asked about the comment cards we collected during the neighborhood meetings. I’ve read them all carefully twice now, and will read them again before the 24th. About one-third of the folks that expressed an opinion on our options supported a “no agreement” view. About two-thirds of the folks that expressed opinions voiced support for trying to reach an agreement (roughly half of those supported the potential agreement we described as Option #2 and roughly half supporting an enhanced agreement). Some of the folks I talked with at the neighborhood meetings weren’t Golden residents, so these numbers probably include some Jeffco and Arvada residents (and I imagine that some of the anonymous comments were non-local as well). While I’m certainly considering their perspectives, my job as mayor is obviously to look out for Golden first.

Quite a few of the comments were either questions or just didn’t have clear opinions about our options. Some said they want to sue and to get the Golden Plan; of course if we thought we could do both we would. Some simply expressed opposition to the Jefferson Parkway or to the beltway coming through Golden, which are views that most everyone shares but which don’t shed light on which strategy they prefer.

I encourage you to download and read all of the comments yourself (go to the Feb. 24 agenda and click on “Comments from Public Input meetings”). You’ll find a wide array of views that I think accurately represents the diversity of views within our community.

These numbers are important, but this decision doesn’t reduce to a numbers game. In fact, one of the most helpful results of our neighborhood meetings is that so many of the comment cards (in addition to many of the emails, phone calls, and one-on-one conversations) raise insightful thoughts, useful perspectives, and helpful suggestions.

Based on all of the discussion and input we’ve heard, as well as any additional input we get in the next week and on February 24, the City Council is planning to make a decision that evening about our general direction moving forward. This is a complicated issue and our community has to choose between imperfect options. I haven’t yet made a decision about the best strategy for keeping the beltway out of Golden – I won’t until the 24th – but I have carefully read and considered every comment I’ve received, and I believe that everyone on City Council is doing the same.

We posted the City Council packet online ahead of schedule – it went up two days ago – to give everyone more time to review all of the documents and materials. You can download the entire packet on the City Council web page. If you have any other thoughts or questions, please shoot me an email or attend the City Council meeting on February 24 starting at 7pm at City Hall.

Keeping the Beltway Out of Golden: Neighborhood Meetings Start Tonight

As part of the community conversation about how best to keep the beltway out of Golden, we’ve scheduled four neighborhood open houses over the next two weeks. You’ll have a chance to review the history of Golden’s beltway fight, compare the two main options for continuing to keep the beltway out of Golden, get all your questions answered, and weigh in with your thoughts. We’ll also have updated maps and descriptions of Golden’s community-based Muller Plan, our own plan for fixing transportation issues in Golden like noise, pollution, congestion, neighborhood connections, and safety.

  • 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
  • Daytime Open House: Wednesday, Feb. 9, 1-3 p.m. at City Council Chambers
  • Northern Neighborhoods: Wednesday, Feb. 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Mitchell Elementary

The two main options we are considering are:

Option #1: Golden can continue to fight the building of the Jefferson Parkway five miles north of Golden but make no progress on fixing existing and future transportation problems on U.S. 6 and Highway 93 in town.

or

Option #2: Golden can reach an agreement with Jefferson County that allows us to begin implementing Golden’s own Muller Plan for keeping U.S. 6 and Highway 93 safe, slow, and quiet in exchange for not suing to stop the Jefferson Parkway north of town.

We’ve got a web site up (GetTheFactsGolden) with information about both options, and we are regularly responding to community questions about those options and the risks of each. Some of the main concerns we’ve heard so far include:
You’ll find a bunch of other questions and answers on the web site, and please attend one of the neighborhood meetings if you can.

  • If we try to reach an agreement with Jefferson County, can we realistically expect to get funding to start implementing the Golden Plan for safe, slow, and quiet streets? This is a critical question, and I believe an agreement would have to include a good funding mechanism or it for sure wouldn’t make sense.
  • Why aren’t we focused on improving the arterials in Arvada? Our studies show that improving arterials like McIntyre and Indiana would improve congestion in Arvada but wouldn’t have a big impact on Golden. Since we don’t control what Arvada does to this streets, and because we don’t believe it would have a big impact on Golden regardless, we are more focused on the issues that really do impact traffic and quality of life in Golden.
  • Is the Jefferson Parkway inevitable? Some folks feel it is inevitable while others don’t think so. My view: we really don’t know if the proponents will be able to build it or not. We are pretty confident that the proponents will move ahead whether they have an agreement with Golden or not, meaning that they will take their proposal to the market in an effort to find investors. Whether there are investors out there crazy enough to throw a couple of hundred million into a road that is likely to fail is an open question.
  • If Golden sues to stop the Jefferson Parkway, what is the likelihood of winning? We’ve done a very good job of building a very strong legal case over the years, but these are difficult lawsuits. Our best guess is that if we file suit we’ve got a 50/50 chance of prevailing. If we win, the court is likely to identify specific steps that the proponents and agencies need to take, so they could potentially fix the problems with their process and make another run at it.

I hope to see many of you tonight or at one of the other neighborhood meetings this week and next.

 

The Ins and Outs of Federal Transportation Funding: Golden's Options for Funding Our "Safe, Slow, and Quiet" Muller Plan

One of the most challenging issues in our community discussion about the beltway fight is the funding of Golden’s own Muller Plan. These “Safe, Slow, and Quiet” improvements have been a central part of our long-term strategy for protecting Golden from the beltway and from other growth in traffic on U.S. 6 and Highway 93.

The challenging reality is that we probably can’t fund these projects unless and until Golden and Jefferson County reach some kind of agreement. Why? There are only three main mechanisms for securing federal funding for transportation projects like our Muller Plan projects, and all three depend on the local jurisdictions working in collaboration.

1) Grant funding (e.g., the federal TIGER grant program under the stimulus bill). Local collaboration among jurisdictions will continue to be an implicit or explicit condition of grant funding. The only Colorado project to receive TIGER funding was the 36 Corridor project (light rail, bus rapid transit, other highway improvements), a project that has the energetic support of every impacted jurisdiction. We can always submit proposals for grant funding like this (another transportation grant program is rumored to be in the works), but we are exceedingly unlikely to actually get any of these grants without Jeffco’s support.

2) Congressionally directed funding. Earmarks are the best-known type of Congressionally-directed funding, but members of Congress have other tools for doing this as well, including “phonemarks,” directly persuading the Cabinet Secretary to support specific projects, and other legislative strategies. Even if Congress reinstates the earmark system or replaces it with something comparable (as many expect it will do), our Congressional delegation is extremely unlikely to support any sort of funding for Golden projects if Jefferson County objects to them. Conversely, they’ve been very clear that they will support us in securing funding for projects in Golden that have Jefferson County’s buy-in. None of them want to get in the middle of a disagreement between Jefferson County and Golden.

3) The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) funding process. This is the primary option. Funding through this process is based on a points system. Golden has lost points in its effort to secure funding for Highway 93 safety improvements because we didn’t have political or financial support from Jefferson County. Many communities secure project funding despite not having the highest-scoring projects, but securing funding in this way is extremely difficult if the directly impacted jurisdictions themselves object (and every one of Golden’s projects is within Jefferson County, of course). On the other hand, where we have the support of other directly impacted communities, we have been able to secure funding. Since I’ve represented Golden at DRCOG, I’ve been able to secure funding for both of the projects I went after (our initial community bus feasibility study and the Golden Bluffs Connector bicycle/pedestrian path in southern Golden) in part because I had built support from other jurisdictions. This is true for other communities as well; while some projects just score high enough outright to get funded (ours probably won’t), most projects like ours that get funded end up on the list because the proponents have built strong support among the other impacted communities. Without Jefferson County on board, we probably won’t be able to do this.

In other words, while it is theoretically possible for Golden to secure funding to implement the Golden Plan for transportation improvements, it is very difficult and unlikely if the local jurisdictions aren’t in agreement.

Just to be clear, this is only one factor in deciding whether to reach an agreement with Jefferson County. But this basic reality of transportation funding is a key reason that our options have such pronounced tradeoffs. There are some advantages to the “no agreement with Jefferson County” option, but this is one serious downside: we probably won’t be able to fund any of our “Safe, Slow, and Quiet” Muller Plan improvements.