Jefferson Parkway plans hit a major roadblock in Golden: Pardon our dust!
Golden came out strong against the proposed Jefferson Parkway -- including a plan for the toll road to go through a right-of-way on the eastern edge of Rocky Flats. For the past year, though, state and project officials have been meeting with Golden, looking for a possible compromise -- and two weeks ago, it looked like it was a done deal. But as it turns out, the dust hasn't settled yet.
Late December 19, when I spoke with Jacob Smith, Golden's mayor who's been tireless in fighting for his town, he said that negotiations were continuing. But five days later, this announcement appeared on Golden's website:
Dec. 24, 2011 -- Over the past number of months Jefferson County, Golden, Arvada, Broomfield and CDOT have attempted to negotiate the terms of an agreement to address future traffic impacts on state highways within the City of Golden, in the context of the Jefferson Parkway. The Parties strived to reach agreement on specific terms but were unable to do so. While unsuccessful in the short term, the Parties have outlined a roadmap that may be useful in the future.
The City of Golden will provide more information in the coming days.
That information could be coming soon, because the transfer of the right-of-way from Rocky Flats to Golden could happen as early as January 10, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife spokesman I talked with on December 19. And Smith himself will be leaving office just a day or two later.
On Christmas Eve, still-mayor Smith posted this note from Golden City Councilman Bob Vermeulen on his own web page:
As you all know by now, the past number of months Golden, Jefferson County, Arvada, Broomfield and CDOT have attempted to negotiate the terms of an agreement to address future traffic impacts on state highways within the City of Golden, in the context of the Jefferson Tollway. The parties strived to reach agreement on specific terms but were unable to do so. While unsuccessful in the short term, the Parties have outlined a roadmap that may be useful in the future.
We have some very real time lines that we are bumping up against with the transfer of the right of way along Indiana looming in January. Council will need to decide how best to protect the city very quickly. As always, as soon as I can share any information I will get it out.
One idea that came out of the process the past 12 months is that we may need to update our vision for transportation in and through Golden. I believe we will explore updating the "Golden Plan" over the next year and set strong priorities for the traffic mitigations and how we want future improvements to look for the near and long term.
This process hasn't been easy and we know that we alarmed many in the community with our announcement of a possible agreement. It is always our priority to get the information out as soon as possible and that will mean at times we may need to backtrack or have nothing to present. I would rather we have these occasional stumbles than withhold information at any time.
That is all for right now, more information will come out over the next week and months to come. I am proud of our mayor and city manager for they have fought and protected Golden in the most honorable manner and they never forgot our core principles as a community.
Enjoy your time with loved ones over the Holidays and I look forward to serving the community in 2012.
The saga of Rocky Flats has taken many twists and turns since the plutonium-processing factory was first proposed for a site sixteen miles upwind of Denver. Many of those twists and turns will be discussed at the new Rocky Flats museum that will open next year. Read about it in Patricia Calhoun's "Plans for the Rocky Flats Cold War Museum are heating up."