Where did this idea come from?
The Urban Land Conservancy, a Denver nonprofit organization, conceived of this idea based on long-standing community desires for better connections and more cultural expression to highlight, preserve, and expand the local heritage of neighborhoods in light of changes occurring across NE Denver. The 303 ArtWay seeks to fill existing gaps in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and create safer ways for communities to connect to transit, businesses in various neighborhoods, and ultimately the rest of the city by way of transit—while also being used as a forum to showcase Denver artists/public art and local history and heritage.
When will the 303 ArtWay be built?
A lot depends on the ability to raise funding to pay for the cost of the 303 ArtWay. It is envisioned to be built in 3 or more phases over a multi-year period. It is hoped the first phase, to be used as a “demonstration phase” located in NE Park Hill, can be built within the next two years.
What will the 303 connect to?
The local communities will help decide the exact route of the 303. Right now it is envisioned to connect to some of the following:
o Park Hill Golf Course
o Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being
o Holly Square (Vicker Boys & Girls Club, Roots Charter School, and more)
o Fairfax Shopping Center
o Kearney Shopping Area
o Park Hill School
o Denver Museum of Nature & Science
o Denver Zoo
o City Park
o Tramway Nonprofit Center
o Whittier Charter School
o And…9 NE Denver neighborhoods
Who’s going to pay for it?
The money for the implementation of the 303 will come from many sources: from other nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, city/state/federal funding, and private donations.
Will this use existing sidewalks/bike lanes?
Where good sidewalks/bike lanes exist, the planning of the 303 will try to use some while incorporating new design feature that create a unique pathway that people can identify as part of the 303 ArtWay. Where sidewalks/bike lanes are bad (cracked, too narrow, too close to the road, etc.) or where no sidewalk/bike lanes exist, new ones will be installed.
Will pedestrians and bikes be on the same path?
Where the 303 trail can be wide enough, pedestrians will be on one side of the pathway, and bike lane(s) on the other side. In some locations the walking path and bike path may separate, with the bike path instead being on the street (as long as the street is wide enough and safe enough for bikes to be on it).
Why is this 303 ArtWay necessary?
There are five primary reasons why this project will be a benefit to NE Denver residents and visitors:
o Better Connectivity
o Improved Safety for pedestrians and bicyclists
o Overall safer neighborhoods with more “Eyes on the Street”
o Promoting better Health and Wellness in the way residents get around
o Ensuring Cultural, historical, and artistic preservation
· Connectivity and mobility: certain areas of NE Denver currently have very fragmented existing streets, and sidewalks. Some places have no sidewalks at all. All this makes it hard to walk to somewhere, especially to the new 40th & Colorado Rail Station.
· Safety: many areas in the neighborhoods are unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists. With I-70 and many warehouse/industrial buildings nearby, there is often heavy, fast moving truck traffic on theses neighborhoods’ streets. So a safe off-street pathway for pedestrians and bikers is really needed in many parts of this area of Denver.
· “Eyes on the Street”: when people are present outside in their neighborhoods, crime rarely happens; and so, with increased number of residents and visitors to NE Denver using the future ped/bike trails and congregating at periodic outdoor public gathering spots along the trail, there will be a heightened level of overall safety added to local neighborhoods. It is hoped too that much of the trail can be lit at night, thereby providing a safer route to navigate neighborhoods when it is dark out.
· Health: Studies recommend increased physical activity, and specifically biking and walking to get around and to go to and from transit as an easy way to achieve better health within a community. However, in this area of Denver this goal can be challenging due to the poor condition or nonexistence of sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes. The 303 is intended to greatly improve the walk-ability and bike-ability of these neighborhoods.
· Cultural Preservation: With so many changes happening to NE Denver, now is the time to create a lasting legacy for current and future residents to enjoy and be proud of. The 303 will be a new very publically accessible way to highlight local art, history, and culture.
Who decides what art is on the 303?
There will be a competition or committee of local residents/stakeholders to decide every public art piece. The first temporary “kick-off” art installation is located in the Colorado Blvd. ped/bike underpass adjacent to the RTD 40th & Colorado Rail Station. Birdseed Collective, the arts organization that lead the design and installation of this 120 foot long mural was chosen through a public “call for local artists” process that last over 9 months. This particular art project was funded through grants provided by both the City and County of Denver Arts and Venues’ “P.S. You Are Here” program and by ArtPlace America.
Other NE Park Hill art projects are currently in the planning process for the Dahlia Health and Wellness Center and at Holly Square.
How do I get involved in this project?
Getting involved in this project will require a time commitment—so people have to be prepared to devote enough time to attend meetings, potentially be members of selection committees, etc.
If you are still interested in the possibility of becoming involved in this project, you should contact:
Director – Master Site Development
Urban Land Conservancy
Is this an RTD or City project?
No. The idea for the 303 is currently being led by Urban Land Conservancy (ULC), a Denver-based nonprofit organization. Future funding and/or involvement in the project will involve many different organizations, including the City and County of Denver which owns and controls the street and sidewalk right-of-ways where the 303 ArtWay will be created.
Who is the Urban Land Conservancy (ULC)?
The Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) is a Denver-based non-profit organization which acquires, develops, and preserves community real estate assets in urban areas for a variety of community needs such as schools, affordable housing, community centers, and office space for nonprofits.
Over the pasts 8 years, ULC has made significant real estate investments in the NE Park Hill neighborhood, among these are the acquisition of the former Holly Square Shopping Center where ULC has worked with the community to help create facilities to house the Vickers Boys & Girls Club and the Roots Charter Elementary School. ULC also has a TOD project (“Transit Oriented Development”) in the planning stages on nearly 7-acres owned at the 40th & Colorado Rail Station.
How do I find out more about this project or keep track of it?
There is a website that explains the 303 ArtWay, and will periodically have updates about the progress of the project. It is located online at: 303ArtWay.org