By Eric Heinz
This is the second installment of a threepart series of candidate interviews for the Denver City Council District 1 race.
The Denver Elections Division recently ruled that it could not prove the length of residency for one of the candidates, Micaela Iron Shell-Dominguez, and she has since been listed as ineligible. She is also not eligible to be a write-in candidate as they must meet the same residency requirements.
The remaining candidates are incumbent Councilwoman Amanda P. Sandoval and Ava Truckey. This month, the candidates were asked questions about transportation within District 1 and how it can be improved. The municipal election is April 4.
Amanda P. Sandoval, Incumbent
Sandoval said one of the biggest issues for her when it comes to transportation is safety. “Right now, what’s been on my mind over the past month is the three deaths that we’ve had in council District 1,” Sandoval said. “We had one on Colfax. We had one on 35th and Federal, and we had one on 38th and Sheridan, all within 10 days.”
Sandoval said she has not heard of any leads on the suspects responsible for a recent fatalities, and she said because Sheridan is managed by the Colorado Department of Transportation, not the city of Denver, it’s hard to determine what can be done.
“We technically only have jurisdiction over the corner,” she said. “When I’m thinking about different types of transportation options in northwest Denver, I think we need to look at our bikeways, do a re-evaluation. Is the 35th (Avenue) bikeway actually working like it was intended to work? Do we need to put more divers? Do we need to put in other things that would actually make that bikeway more comfortable for bikers and less comfortable for cars?”
Sandoval said while the city implements the 41st Avenue bikeway, which will run from Sheridan Boulevard to Inca Street, she said Denver needs to take lessons from what was done on the 35th Avenue bikeway and use that information to make new infrastructure.
“They put traffic circles on 41st (Avenue), and I had a different agency go out and test them,” Sandoval said. “They are not to code. They don’t meet the school bus code. They don’t meet anything, so they’re having to totally be redesigned.”
Sandoval said she was able to get several “rapid fire” (lighted) crosswalks installed in District 1 during her time on council, particularly in the Tennyson business corridor, and there are others to be installed. She also said the city should look at reducing speed limits in major thoroughfares, like on 38th Avenue.
Truckey said she wants to couple the City Council’s public transportation efforts with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in order to create a better network that can serve more people.
“I think that it would be helpful to work with RTD with route planning and the budget to create better usability for poor and working-class people,” Truckey said.
Truckey said she’s also noticed the issues with speeding and traffic that spills over into residential neighborhoods when there’s congestion.
“I just know that in general because, especially with the traffic situation here now, what we’re seeing is a lot of people are using neighborhoods to navigate,” she said. “Also we’re seeing increases in speeding and just generally unsafe sort of conditions.”
Truckey said she would entertain the idea of trying to incentivize more environmentally friendly transportation initiatives, but they’re not the first thing on her agenda.
“I think that I would like to have a plan for that, and right now I think that is something that I will be able to speak to better at some point,” Truckey said. “There are other things that I think need to be addressed first.”