The Rail Thing

Today marks the grand opening of RTD's West Line, serving the West Colfax corridor from Union Station in downtown Denver to the Jeffco Government Center in Golden. Rides will be free all day not just on the West Line, but on the entire light-rail system, and community celebrations are planned at every West Line stop, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Because the folks in Lakewood's 40 West Arts District are especially keen on showing their stuff, you can expect big things at the Lamar Street station, where 40 West, the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design and the Two Creeks Neighborhood Association are teaming up to present a 40 West Pop-Up Art Stop, with artist/vendors, demos, chalk art, kids' activities, live entertainment and food trucks.

"Light rail is a game-changer, and not just for 40 West Arts, but for the entire West Colfax corridor," says 40 West's Bill Marino. "Yes, absolutely, light rail will help bring arts patrons to us — for 40 West Gallery, the galleries at RMCAD, the Edge Theater and others -- but it also will spur redevelopment and bring more customers to existing and new businesses on West Colfax.

"Moreover, the coming of light rail is one of many catalytic activities in the corridor," he continues. "The West Colfax corridor is a remarkable convergence of opportunity: new zoning put in place by a forward-thinking city – Lakewood – as well as active advocacy by the Lakewood-West Colfax Business Improvement District, strong support from numerous local community associations, fresh creative energy from 40 West Arts, RMCAD and the new creative enterprises converging on the area, and the quirky history that makes Colfax so cool. With all this lining up, West Colfax is poised to be the next big thing."

And today is a great day to check it out. For a complete listing of West Line station parties from start to finish, visit
Sat., April 27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 2013


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