Leaving LoDo at night, you'd call for a cab, and cross your fingers. Or you'd hope you could find a driver who was ignoring the city's ban on hailing, which was considered a safety issue. "When I was a night bar-scene driver, I made about 50 percent of my gross totals on hails," says one driver. "Enforcement was never there. "
Why did Denver change its rules? The Democratic National Convention was coming to town, and a world-class city needs to have cabs available. So Denver City Council amended the city ordinances to allow hailing (cabs had to install flashing orange lights to indicate they were stopping in traffic to pick up a ride) and then-Mayor John Hickenlooper signed it into law in the summer of 2007 -- a year before the Democrats descended.
If the Republicans wind up bringing their convention here in 2016, they'll have plenty of ride options -- who knows how many more programs like Uber and Lyft will pop up in the next few years? But thanks to the Democrats, they'll also be able to hail a cab.
More from the Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "A century and a half later, the wounds of Sand Creek are still fresh."
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