Lonely Planet just named the RiNo Art District to its list of the Ten Hot 'Hoods Across the United States. RiNo is undeniably a hot Denver neighborhood, with construction all over the River North area of what's officially labeled Five Points on city maps.
And tempers were hot, too, in RiNo on October 6, when three more blocks of Brighton Boulevard were suddenly closed off on one of the biggest weekends of the year, as bars along the street were anticipating plenty of business spilling over from the Great American Beer Festival. But the temporary closure of 35th to 38th streets until Saturday afternoon — the city first blamed Denver Water, which responded that the city and the construction company had requested the work — put a real roadblock in those plans.
Construction work on Brighton Boulevard had already closed off northbound traffic from 38th to I-70; our mention of that in the Lonely Planet piece caught Emily's attention. She writes:
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I think your comment at the end of the article "RiNo Rates on Lonely Planet's List of Ten Hot ’Hoods in U.S." comes across as ignorant, snarky and way out of line: "Oh, and good luck getting to DIA after your visit to RiNo: Northbound Brighton Boulevard is still closed at 38th Street."
First of all, getting to the airport from RiNo is far easier than getting to the airport from most other parts of the city, given that the RTD A-Line serves RiNo directly and arrives at the terminal. No bus transfers, no shuttles, no parking 3/4 mile away.... It goes from RiNo directly to the terminal, and that's an amazing amenity that most major U.S. cities do not have.
Secondly, for those of you who insist on driving to the airport, yes, northbound Brighton Boulevard is temporarily closed, and yes, at times that can be a bit difficult...I know, as I have lived a block or less from Brighton for nearly eight years now. However, what is far more important than the minor inconvenience of having to take a small detour is that Brighton is being majorly improved so that in the future it will finally be safe for people like me to push a stroller, or eventually to ride bikes along with my five-year-old when we go get groceries, or they want to play in the park.
The Brighton Boulevard redevelopment is a humongous benefit to the city and instead of complaining about temporary inconveniences, we should be grateful to live in a place tht does such fantastic things for us residents. I think showing anything less than gratitude is short-sighted and rude, and perpetuating that negative mindset makes us all worse off.
But other readers had negative comments about Lonely Planet's description of RiNo. Responding to the words "Even as the Mile High City expands, RiNo still clings to its punk-rock roots," Annie writes:
Those beautiful roots are dying so fast. Five Points will just be as drab and cookie cutter as LoDo soon.
There is nothing punk rock about RiNo. Those roots were dug up and tossed out years ago to build high-rise cells to store yuppies in.
Perfect, now all the hipster parents can move there and push out the artists, like they did in Baker.
And then there's this from Benjamin:
Five Points used to be a lot of fun. Then developers got really good marketing people and cushy deals and zoning collusion from local gov. Now it's safe and static and predictable and mostly boring. I miss the old Five Points.
Looking at those closed streets, many RiNo business owners might disagree with the comment about "collusion from local gov" today; the extra roadblock is slated to remain until at least 2 p.m. In the meantime, keep reading for some of our recent coverage of RiNo.
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