Triangle Park neighbors to consider all the angles of handling the homeless today

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The city once thought it had the solution to Triangle Park -- unofficially known as the Bumuda Triangle because of all the homeless who gathered there during the day, when the nearby shelters were closed. But five years and more than $300,000 later, Denver admitted its plan hadn't worked and went back to the drawing board.

For the past several months, a committee that includes assorted stakeholders -- including city employees, neighborhood association reps, residents and business owners -- has been meeting to discuss the future of Triangle Park, officially named Eddie Maestas Park, although at the request of survivors of the late Eddie Maestas, once known as the unofficial Mayor of Larimer Street, his name has been taken down from the mess at the corner of Park Avenue West and Lawrence Street. And they haven't limited the discussion to just this park, which technically falls under the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation. They've also considered the area as a whole, focusing on the 24th Avenue stretch that leads to Sonny Lawson Park.

Their slow, steady pace has been a marked contrast to Denver City Council's fast work on the urban camping ban, passed four weeks ago after public discussions that lasted less than a month. But the ramifications of that ban have certainly been felt by all the providers who're based in the area around Triangle Park -- and the neighbors and business owners committee working on a solution.

To aid their deliberations, they've been holding a unique, virtual town hall on the topic through MindMixer: Community Coordinating District #1, which invites users to "share your ideas to make Denver neighborhoods a better place to live, work, and play."

And today, they'll take the next step, considering options that range from walling off the park to turning it into a public art piece. To see all the proposals that have been put on the table, visit www.communitycoordinatingdistrict.com.

Upper Larimer Street is now one of the hottest locations in town, but it wasn't always that way. Read how Eddie Maestas and other business owners held the neighborhood together in Patricia Calhoun's "Full Circle."

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


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