by Robin Swartzbacker
You may have noticed that things are changing on West Mineral Avenue by South Platte Canyon Drive. When you drive by there for the first time please be observant for lane changes and a speed limit reduction. These changes came from a several month process where Public Works was deeply engaged with the residents of the W Mineral neighborhoods. The project, entitled Provide a safe environment for all users of the Mineral Avenue corridor between Platte Canyon Road and Polo Ridge Drive was started because the people had voiced their safety concerns about this particular area. Together Public Works and the neighbors collaborated to define the users, purpose, and goals of the venture.
One of the first things done was the creation of a webpage on the city’s website where residents could stay updated on the project, a central location for communication. Aaron Heumann, Littleton’s Traffic Engineer, stated during his presentation to the City Council on September 27 (click here to view his presentation, starts at 1.11.50), “We engaged with residents early and often best we could.”
The process started by meeting with the residents last January to learn face to face what their issues and concerns were. From community meetings, the webpage, emails, and phone calls solutions were shaped from the feedback provided by the people. In fact, several of the potential solutions came directly from the neighbors. The final implementation strategy came after several rounds of discussion and feedback. It was refreshing to hear the city didn’t go into the project with a predetermined answer but instead first listened to the citizens and partnered with them to create the resolutions after much collaboration.
In the beginning of the presentation to city council, Acting City Manager and Public Works Director Mark Relph stated they “would like to replicate this in other parts of the city and especially the citizen engagement.” As Aaron Heumann spoke, he reiterated his desire several times for using this process of community involvement too. Personally I have heard from a resident who participated in this process who is very pleased with it. Nice job Public Works.