Michael Hancock takes a ride down Ambassador Street... and just misses Occupy Denver

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Yesterday was not a good time to tour downtown. As city officials jumped in pedicabs to check out the newly refurbished 14th Street, which runs along the edge of downtown starting at Market Street, quite a welcoming committee was waiting at the other end of what's also oddly dubbed "Ambassador Street:" Occupy Denver protesters, who were blocking Broadway at Colfax.

Fortunately for Denver's ambassadors, the official opening ceremonies for 14th Street focused on the stretch leading to the convention center and the Big Blue Bear, which includes fancy hotels and the Denver Performing Arts complex -- and stopped well short of the Occupy Denver roadblock, which jammed traffic for an hour.

Mayor Michael Hancock and Downtown Denver Partnership president Tami Door were in the lead pedicab -- which failed to break through the blue ribbon that stretched across the street. "Today we celebrate the completion of the Ambassador Street, which anchors our downtown area," Hancock proclaimed, bouncing back from that slight obstacle. "14th Street is a world-class roadway that not only promotes our city's beauty, but also shows how important multi-modal transportation is to us."

Multi-modal, including pedicabs?

Among the other officials on hand were new Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks and manager of public works George Delaney, who oversaw the implementation of the Better Denver bond projects that voters approved in 2007. This particular project cost $14 million, with $10 million coming from Better Bonds and $4 million from nearby businesses, and included not just expanded sidewalks but a dedicated bicycle lane, bike racks, improved lighting, "way-finding monuments" designed to advise tourists, trees, kiosks, benches and too-low planters that are sure to trip some of those pedestrians looking over the glories of Ambassador Street rather than watching their feet.

Welcome to Denver!

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Colorado Springs lives it up with new logo and slogan."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.