January 2018 Meeting Notes
by Geneva Hooten
Introducing Denver Public Works Executive Director Eulois Cleckley
We were pleased to be joined by the new Executive Director of Public Works, Eulois Cleckley, on his one-month anniversary with the City of Denver. Here are five things we learned about Eulois and his goals for 2018:
- Denver isn’t his first rodeo. Eulois has worked in the private and public sector, and has worked at all levels of government: city, regional, state, and federal. His background is in both transportation and economics, and he founded a non-profit focused on community and business engagement. Most recently, Eulois served as deputy director of the Houston-Galveston Area Council, where he oversaw transportation strategy across the eight-county area.
- He believes in focusing on people, process, and project/service delivery. As Public Works Director, Eulois wants to support and cultivate staff as to maximize their potential, all while staying focused on the ultimate purpose of Public Works: serving the people of Denver. He also wants to make data-driven decisions and use the best methods to deliver results.
- He’s going to be busy! In addition to overseeing the normal operations of Denver’s largest department, he will also be responsible for implementing the transportation-related GO bond projects and leading the the reorganization of Public Works into two divisions within the department: a public works division and a mobility division, with the potential further separation of mobility into its own department. With the new organization structure, Eulois will focus on communicating a citywide strategy; prioritizing and delivering mobility projects; streamlining planning, operations, and engineering; and improving coordination with community partners.
- In 2018, Eulois will continue work in making the Mayor’s Mobility Action Plan a reality. That Plan, released in late 2017, outlines a number of ambitious goals related to mode choice, Vision Zero, and public health.
- He’s walking the talk. Eulois left his car in Texas and has jumped right into the multimodal lifestyle. He commutes by bus, walks, and uses car share. So far he says: “it’s working out for me. If I don’t have to get a car, I won’t.”
It was great to hear from the new leader of Public Works so early in his tenure! We have shared with him INC’s Transportation Platform and look forward to working with him to advance the goals set out by Denver neighborhoods.
Neighborhood Success Story – Tom Brunn, Sloan’s Lake Citizens’ Group
Tom Brunn, a member of the Sloan’s Lake Citizens’ Group, provided a thorough visual overview of the safety-focused improvements on 26th Avenue, a major collector street in their neighborhood. Tom and his RNO have worked over a long period of time with the Denver Police, Parks and Recreation, and Public Works to improve crossings and visibility along 26th Avenue, where high vehicle speeds and infrequent signalized pedestrian crossings have resulted in injurious crashes. In his photo-tour, we saw the evidence of many years of interventions, some successful and some not, from a safety perspective, but all trying to get at the core problem of fast traffic in a neighborhood setting where people are trying to go to and from the park, bus stops, schools and businesses.
Recently implemented pedestrian treatments include a Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon at 26th Avenue and Newton Street, as well as a non-permanent installation of a pedestrian refuge island at 26th Avenue and Tennyson Street. Very recently, a temporary pedestrian refuge island was added near Brown International Elementary School. Pedestrian refuge islands are a proven and effective engineering treatment to calm traffic and enhance pedestrian safety. At this location, the treatment was added by using paint and orange plastic bollards. It may be replaced with a more permanent concrete platform later.
We commend Tom and the Sloan’s Lake Citizens’ Group for their thoughtful and effective advocacy in their neighborhood. Their tenacity and success can serve as a model for other neighborhood organizations that are interested in exploring rapidly implementable wins to improve pedestrian visibility and safety.
Colfax Corridor Connections & East Colfax Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) – Joel Noble
Joel provided an impromptu overview of the Colfax Corridor Connections project, as our speaker had to leave town on short notice due to a family emergency.
The Bus Rapid Transit design has evolved significantly, in response to community pressure to have a BRT system on our most heavily-used transit corridor that functions more reliably than previous designs would have done. The new “center-running” design is being reviewed by the community via a Community Task Force, in presentations to neighborhood and business groups, and by an online survey that everyone is encouraged to take.
With $55 million in funding from the successful November 2017 General Obligation Bond vote, plus $20 million in streetscape improvements on Colfax, the project is expected to be very competitive for one or more categories of federal matching funds for implementation.
Find out more about the project at ColfaxCorridorConnections.com
Denveright’s Denver Moves: Transit – Joel Noble, INC Transportation Committee & Task Force Member
Denver needs better transit — transit more people will choose to use for more of their trips. Transit that is frequent enough that you can go when you want to go. Transit that isn’t stuck in traffic. The vision for that transit is being developed in the Denver Moves: Transit plan, one of the four major plans concurrently run under the Denveright umbrella.
In 2015, INC adopted the INC Transportation Platform, which included several goals for transit, including:
- 6.1. We support the creation of the Denver Transit Plan, and call for extensive neighborhood involvement in setting the vision, goals, and approaches in this plan. The plan should set the vision for a transit system that a much higher proportion of citizens will choose to use.
- 6.3. RTD should improve bus routes and operations to increase ridership. Improvements in route clarity and all-day frequency should be emphasized and key activity centers should be connected.
- 6.7. The City and RTD should explore the creation of Bus Rapid Transit corridors in Denver to provide enhanced, frequent, attractive and rapid service on major streets without rail service.
- 6.10. Quality, safe transit stops are vital to make transit usable by all, in all weather. Bus stop signs in the mud or ice are unworthy excuses for transit facilities.
- 6.11. Transit stops and stations must be accessible. RTD and Denver should ensure bicycle and pedestrian access to and from transit stops and stations, provide secure bicycle parking, and identify and eliminate other barriers to transit access.
The Denver Moves: Transit plan is nearing the completion of its core recommendations, which are being reviewed in a series of public meetings throughout the city in the coming weeks. The major recommendation is for the creation of a “Frequent Transit Network” — a grid of high-frequency all-day prioritized transit throughout the city. Where the ridership and other factors warrant it, the plan will be calling for significant upgrades to ensure transit operates with high reliability. In other corridors, less capital-intensive changes are needed to prevent transit from being stuck in traffic. Other recommendations for quality transit stops and amenities are also expected in the upcoming draft plan.
Overall, Joel feels that the plan is coming together well, and is supportive of our INC Transportation Plan’s transit items summarized above. He encourages attendance at the public meetings, and careful review of the draft plan when it’s published because it — along with Blueprint Denver — are going to be key policy and implementation documents we’ll use over the next two decades of Denver’s continuing evolution.
RTD Pass Program Working Group – Michael Washington, RTD Transit Equity Manager
Michael Washington gave a brief, informal and relatable overview of the detailed work of the Pass Program Working Group. While it’s a work in progress, consensus on a low-income fare and pass program and deeper discounts for youth seem certain. EcoPass, an employer-based program providing passes to all employees, is expected to continue as part of the recommended package, as are the Neighborhood EcoPass and CollegePass programs, although pricing and administration may change.
When the working group finishes its work in February, it will present its recommendations to the RTD Board for consideration. As this large, diverse working group was formed at the request of the Board, there is every expectation that they will take the recommendations seriously. Implementation of the recommendations may take a year or two, depending on the technical difficulty of in implementing changes to the fare payment technology.
Joel reminded the group that a low-income pass is something the INC Transporation Platform calls for, so this is another big step forward on our INC requests.
The official website for this work has FAQs, meeting notes, modeling results, and more.
2018 Meeting Schedule
The INC Transportation Committee’s meetings throughout 2018 will be held at 1201 Williams St., 19th Floor from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Thank you to Michael Henry for the wonderful space!
- May 10th, 2018
- July 12th, 2018
- September 13th, 2018
- November 8th, 2018
Call for Topic Suggestions
Do you have a topic you’d like the INC Transportation Committee to consider or to find a speaker to discuss with us? Please send your ideas to Joel and Geneva at firstname.lastname@example.org!