Seeking a Littleton Public Works Director with experience in walking and biking safety

Child riding a bike

 

Below is a sample letter to City Manager Jim Becklenberg, Deputy City Manager Mike Gent, and Mayor Kyle Schlachter. And feel free to add your own words or rewrite. What's important is to get the message to city leaders that you support a search process that seeks a new Director with experience in and commitment to safer street design for walking, rolling, and biking people. You words to our city leaders make a difference.

>> You can send this letter in one click by clicking right here.

Dear City Manager Becklenberg, Deputy City Manager Gent, and Mayor Schlachter,

I’m a Littleton resident who wants our city streets to be safe, inviting, and comfortable for all of us – especially for people on foot, in a wheelchair, or riding a bike. I’m pleased to see the city launch its “Safer Streets” effort to address safety around schools in the short term. Of course, there is much more to do but it’s good to see this start.

In your upcoming hiring process for Littleton’s next Director of Public Works, I urge you to choose a person with experience in, and a commitment to, street design centered upon safety and comfort for all users of our streets.

It’s critically important that our Public Works Director be an individual that shares this city’s priority about being a place where people on foot, on skates, on bikes, using a walker, in a wheelchair, etc, are valued and equally accommodated in our public right-of-way as much as vehicles.

Thank you!
[ add your name ]

Click to send an email >
Car parked on sidewalk of Euclid Avenue, Littleton

How to help enforce no parking in the bike lanes/on sidewalks in Littleton

By Jonathan Slater

I walk by the sports field that sits between Euclid Middle School and Options High School almost every day. This sports field is open to the public during non-school hours, hosting a variety of sports events. On the weekends, W. Euclid Ave becomes a giant parking lot of cars.

The north side of Euclid Ave is designated as a bike lane with No Parking signs posted the length of the sports field.

At a City Council meeting last year, Littleton Public Works Director Keith Reester and staff stated they hold weekly meetings with the Littleton Police Department (LPD) to gather street safety reports. Mr. Reester encouraged citizens to call the LPD non-emergency phone line to report and log issues concerning cars behaving badly. I took their advice and started reporting vehicles parking in the bike lane and on the sidewalk on the north side of W. Euclid Ave.

Car parked on sidewalk of Euclid Avenue, Littleton
PHOTO—A car uses the sidewalk to park their car. A common use for sidewalks in Littleton.

Since December 2023, I have made at least seven calls to LPD's non-emergency phone line concerning cars parking in the bike lane and on the sidewalks on W. Euclid Ave. I call the non-emergency line, make the report, move on with my walk, and when I loop back to Euclid Avenue I see that nothing has changed. Earlier this month, I placed a call and within 10 minutes a police officer showed up and was seen talking with a group of people using the field and prompted them to move their cars. The next weekend, I had the same experience. I don’t think the police are issuing tickets but are educating instead. This last weekend, most of the cars were parked on the south side of the street designated for cars to park — a welcome improvement.

People forced into traffic lane on Euclid Avenue due to illegally parked cars.
People forced into traffic lane on Euclid Avenue due to illegally parked cars.

So take my advice when you see cars illegally parked in the City of Littleton: Call the LPD non-emergency number at 303-794-1551. The operator will ask for the issue, street and nearest cross street, car make, model, license plate along with your first name, sometimes they ask if you want a follow-up call.
I am not a huge fan of using this method, as it can be considered confrontational by some people. Unfortunately calling the LPD and filing a report is a tool that Littleton utilizes (or so we are told) to track issues.


Sample email to Senators Bridges and Kolker to vote yes on SB24-1313, Transit Oriented Communities

Sample email to Senator Jeff Bridges, click button below:

Sample email to Senator Bridges

Sample email to Senator Chris Kolker, click button below:

Sample email to Senator Kolker

Don’t forget to add your name/signature at the bottom of email!


Sample letter to City about Project Downtown plan

Below is a sample letter to all Littleton City Councilmembers about their upcoming August 2024 approval of the longterm plan for downtown, called "Project Downtown." Please feel free to add your own words or rewrite. What's important is to get the message to city leaders that you expect any adopted downtown plan to include safer street design for walking, rolling, and biking people — on all streets in the plan area. Some of the plans lack safe bike lanes altogether and Council must not approve plans that leave out pathways for people on skates, bikes, microscooters, or powerchairs.

>> You can send this letter in one click by clicking right here.

Dear Councilmember,

I’m a Littleton resident very interested in safer streets for walking and rolling. I would like a Littleton where people on foot, on skates, on bikes, using a walker, in a wheelchair, etc, are valued and accommodated in the public right-of-way as much as motor vehicles.

I’m concerned that some plans for redesigning our downtown core, called Project Downtown, lack defined safe and comfortable routes for people riding bicycles. When public money is to be used to design and build streets, I firmly believe that those streets should accommodate all the ways people move about our community.

This summer, when you adopt the final plan for Project Downtown, please make sure that plan includes safe bicycle access to all plan area streets where we shop, dine, see a play, or enjoy the wonderful historic downtown vibe. Any plan for downtown Littleton's future that shunts safe bike routes off to side streets or only along the Little’s Creek trail – while providing car travel lanes on every downtown street — is not a fair nor good plan. All our streets should be complete streets, inclusive of safe passage for all people who use that street.

Thank you!
[ add your name ]


Child riding a bike

Sample letter to seeking a Littleton Public Works Director with experience in walking and biking safety

Below is a sample letter to City Manager Jim Becklenberg, Deputy City Manager Mike Gent, and Mayor Kyle Schlachter. And feel free to add your own words or rewrite. What’s important is to get the message to city leaders that you support a search process that seeks a new Director with experience in and commitment to safer street design for walking, rolling, and biking people. You words to our city leaders make a difference.

>> You can send this letter in one click by clicking right here.

Dear City Manager Becklenberg, Deputy City Manager Gent, and Mayor Schlachter,

I’m a Littleton resident who wants our city streets to be safe, inviting, and comfortable for all of us – especially for people on foot, in a wheelchair, or riding a bike. I’m pleased to see the city launch its “Safer Streets” effort to address safety around schools in the short term. Of course, there is much more to do but it’s good to see this start.

In your upcoming hiring process for Littleton’s next Director of Public Works, I urge you to choose a person with experience in, and a commitment to, street design centered upon safety and comfort for all users of our streets.

It’s critically important that our Public Works Director be an individual that shares this city’s priority about being a place where people on foot, on skates, on bikes, using a walker, in a wheelchair, etc, are valued and equally accommodated in our public right-of-way as much as vehicles.

Thank you!
[ add your name ]

Click to send an email >

Littleton, Colorado City Hall on Berry Street

Who's in charge of what?
A Littleton government “cheat sheet”

Littleton, Colorado City Hall on Berry Street

Have you ever wondered how to get your message to the right person in our City of Littleton government? Wondered how to connect with someone in Littleton’s leadership circles? Vibrant Littleton has this handy cheat sheet to help navigate.


Policy Stuff

The Littleton City Council consists of an elected mayor and six councilmembers (CM’s) who serve four year terms. If you want to raise questions about policy or direction in our city, you should address your concerns to Council.

Mayor Kyle Schlachter  lccks@littletongov.org
District 1: Patrick Driscoll  lccpd@littletongov.org
District 2: Robert Reichardt  lccrr@littletongov.org
District 3, Mayor Pro Tem: Stephen Barr  lccsb@littletongov.org
District 4: Andrea Peters  lccap@littletongov.org
At Large: Gretchen Rydin  lccgr@littletongov.org
At Large: Pam Grove  lccpg@littletongov.org


Governance stuff

City Council hires the City Manager and City Attorney, who then hire key department heads such as the Dept of Public Works Director. Our City Manager is the chief executive of the city, responsible for implementing policy and overseeing city staff.

Contact: City Manager Jim Becklenberg, jbecklenberg@littletongov.org


Roads and Public Safety

Things like sidewalks, potholes, street lights, and anything related to traffic is the realm of Public Works.

Contact: Dept of Public Works Director (email to come)


Legal stuff

All legal and liability concerns should be sent to the City Attorney.

Contact: City Attorney Reid Betzing, rbetzing@littletongov.org


Land Use and Historic Preservation

Authorities, boards, and commissions (ABC’s) provide guidance to the City Council. Some boards have final authority on projects (aka, quasi-judicial): These are the Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment, and Historical Preservation. Other boards are advisory, such as NextGen, Environmental Stewardship, Arts & Culture, Transportation & Mobility, etc. The City’s website maintains a complete listing of all boards.

Planning Commission, planningcommission@littletongov.org
Historic Preservation Board, historicalpreservationboard@littletongov.org

 

 

City of Littleton
'City Manager' power structure

Below is a graphic representation of Littleton’s “city manager” form of government. The City Council has the power to hire and direct the City Manager and City Attorney. The Manager & Attorney then hire and direct their respective staff via departments. Departments implement city policy and manage day-to-day operations and decision making within their area of focus. There are other departments than those listed below, but the four shown below are key for public services. The City of Littleton’s website has a complete list of departments.

Note: the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem of our city council have no special executive power; these roles are primarily for running Council meetings and managing the agenda.

City of Littleton organizational structure

City Council Meetings

Littleton CO City Council MeetingCity Council meets Tuesday nights in City Hall, 2255 W. Berry Avenue (map), at 6:30 pm. Citizens can speak on any topic during the 'public comment' portion of regular meetings for up to three minutes. Vibrant Littleton offers you a "How to Speak Out" guide to help you make the most of your public comment. And be sure to review the tentative agenda of all City Council meetings on the City website.


Littleton residents push for safer streets after fatal tragedy, crashes

a man wearing red speaks into a microphone at a podium, with people sitting in the background also wearing red
Patrick Santana, a member of the city's planning commission and Vibrant Littleton, was one of over a dozen individuals who made public comment about bicycle and pedestrian safety at a Dec. 5 city council meeting. / Photo by Nina Joss.

There were hugs, tears and passion in the Littleton council chambers during a recent meeting, as over a dozen community members shared perspectives on bike and pedestrian safety.

A large group of them wore red — as they did the week prior — the favorite color of Liam Stewart, a 13-year-old who was killed when he was hit by a car while riding his bike to school in October.

Speakers used statistics, financial arguments, metaphors and emotional pleas to urge city council members to take bold steps toward safer streets, including infrastructure and speed limit changes.

One of the most emotional moments of the evening came when Liam’s father, Josh Stewart, spoke to the council.

“I know that there is nothing that any city council member can do to change what happened to my son,” he said. “But I hope what happened to my son can change the hearts and minds of each person on city council.”

He said the city council was not thinking of what was best for its citizens when it adopted the city’s Transportation Master Plan in 2019. He said city leaders need to reimagine who pedestrians and cyclists are and how to protect them.

“Back then, bicyclists were seen as adults in spandex, with clip-in shoes, on an $8,000 bike,” he said. “I ask you now — when you think about bicyclists, imagine my son: Liam, making his way to school, pedaling a bike he is still growing into, a bike that he bought with his own allowance.”

a man speaks behind a podium to the city council
Josh Stewart, the father of Liam Stewart, speaks to the city council at a Dec. 5 meeting. / Photo by Nina Joss.

While community calls for safer streets have been largely spurred on by the crash that killed Liam, some attendees mentioned other recent automobile-pedestrian crashes.

In Littleton this year, there have been at least 18 crashes that led to the injury or death of a pedestrian or cyclist, according to city statistics.

On Sept. 24, a pedestrian named Preston Dunn was killed by a vehicle on West Bowles Avenue.

A nighttime crash on Nov. 29 hospitalized Enmery Smith who was crossing Broadway.

In this incident, police say Smith was wearing dark clothes and crossed when cars had a green light. Smith had a high blood alcohol concentration and fentanyl in his system at the time of the crash, according to the police report.

Infrastructure and speed limits

One speaker, a mother of two young daughters, said the city should reduce speed limits in Littleton.

“In nearly half of our streets, pedestrians are forced to use the road as the only safe place to travel — but these areas that provide no safe access for pedestrians are currently 25 to 35 mile per hour zones for cars,” she said. “It is time that we plan the top speeds for cars based on how those that walk, roll, stroll and ride are protected.”

Keely Quinn, who is a new e-bike owner, said physical infrastructure needs to be altered to separate cars from bikes and pedestrians while slowing traffic.

a woman speaks into a microphone
Littleton resident Keely Quinn speaks at a Dec. 5 city council meeting. / Photo by Nina Joss.

“We must slow traffic and keep bikers and walkers safe by narrowing the lanes, adding protected bike lanes and wider sidewalks,” she said. “A narrower road will inherently slow drivers, and drivers won’t need to stress as much about coexistence with bikes and walkers — an all-around improved experience.”

In response to several city council members’ comments about the importance of speed enforcement at a recent study session, some residents pushed back on the fairness and efficacy of enforcement alone.

“Enforcement doesn’t promote an equitable Littleton,” Quinn said. “A $100 speeding ticket might be of no regard to many families in Littleton, but for those like me who have entered into Littleton via affordable housing, it can mean skipping the grocery store.”

The general consensus from commenters was that safer road design — not just traffic enforcement — was the best way to reduce pedestrian and cyclist deaths and injuries. They said this method was economically cost-effective and more consistent than relying on enforcement from police officers.

“Some have argued that changing signs, zoning and enforcement won’t work, as drivers ignore these and can be distracted,” said local mom Kylee Duff. “That’s why I believe that separated bike lanes are the solution that we need.”

Resistance to council comments

At a Nov. 28 study session, At-Large Councilmember Pam Grove said the city should consider the desires of drivers when contemplating infrastructure changes, noting that some drivers do not want to give up road space for bike lanes.

She specifically used the example of a mother with many children who needs a car to get groceries for her family.

During the Nov. 5 public comment period, some individuals pushed back on Grove’s statements.

“To imply that a pedestrian/biking community wants to force a mother of six — or anyone else — to ride a bike is a divisive and irresponsible comment,” resident Johnathan Slater said. “Our intention is not to mandate particular means of transport for anyone — we advocate the safety for everyone on our streets through safe street designs, cars included.”

Slater said the prioritization of people walking, rolling and biking stems from a recognition of the vulnerability of these users when sharing the road with larger vehicles.

Benjamin Traquair, a founder of Littleton Social Cycle, said that even if people want car-centric design, that doesn’t mean it’s always best for them or the community.

people behind the dais listen intently
District 1 Councilmember Patrick Driscoll listens to citizen comments during a Dec. 5 city council meeting. / Photo by Nina Joss.

He described the situation using an analogy about kids’ diets, in which one group of kids wants to eat cake and ice cream, while another group is asking for vegetables.

“The evidence is irrefutable and their requests (for vegetables) are attainable, but you know that there are some other kids who will be upset if you buy broccoli,” Traquair said. “I’m not asking you to stop buying ice cream. I’m just asking you to add some broccoli to the menu.”

Patrick Santana, a member of Littleton’s planning commission and Vibrant Littleton, challenged some details of the city’s plan to host a listening session to hear the community’s desires about street safety.

He said the people most impacted by dangerous streets are the least likely to be at a listening session, people like an 8-year-old who wants to safely bike to the library or an 85-year-old who struggles to get across the street with a walker.

He said the city should be wary of allowing safety priorities to be decided by a listening session.

“Safely-designed streets should never hinge upon a cheerleading contest,” he said. “As someone who experiences this town’s unsafe street designs on a regular daily basis, it’s disheartening when questions like ‘What priority is our safety?’ get determined by the loudest voices or which side turns out the most people to a meeting.”

a man holding a child speaks into a microphone
Phil McCart holds his 10-month-old daughter as he describes the future he dreams of for her in Littleton, one where she can walk and bike safely. / Photo by Nina Joss.

Phil McCart, a member of Vibrant Littleton, said the city does not need to wait to take action.

“You don’t need to wait until master plans are updated,” he said. “While it’s always preferred to hear from citizens first, there are times where action is more important — and this is one of those times.”

Maria Mandt, a pediatric emergency medicine doctor and mother, witnessed the Oct. 17 crash and provided CPR to Liam before responders arrived.

“Liam was following all of the rules,” she said. “I am angered, (as) a pediatric emergency medicine physician and a mother, that so much is left to chance for our kids and for our community … It is a basic right for all of our citizens to be safe during their daily commute.”


Two Littleton road deaths are two too many

Littleton rally on Saturday, Oct 28, 2023, for safer streets after two recent killings on local roads

 

In the wake of two killings on Littleton streets this past month, Vibrant Littleton and Littleton Social Cycle today announced a rally scheduled for Saturday, October 28, 1:00 PM, on the lawn in front of Littleton Public Schools headquarters to call for fundamental changes to community policy about road design and safety.
Littleton Social Cycle

Bike riders of all ages will meet up on the lawn at 5776 Crocker St, Littleton, CO, to lay down their bikes to make the case that the City of Littleton needs our elected leaders to prioritize safer street design – around schools and across the entire city.

“The two recent deaths of people walking and bike riding on Littleton city streets this past month are unacceptable,” says Josie Haggerty, co-founder of Littleton Social Cycle. “Our streets need leaders to prioritize safety for all of us, not just car drivers and their convenience.”

“We’re insisting that local leaders — from the Littleton City Council and LPS administration on down — better articulate their priorities for safer streets for people walking and biking,” says Phillip McCart, member of Vibrant Littleton. “Council must make it clear that we can no longer, with good conscience, give priority to cars. Cities are for people and not for cars.”

Rally attendees will speak about how recent roadway deaths are the result of a flawed system-wide approach to street safety — not to be blamed on individual mistakes. Rally-goers are encouraged to bring their bikes, scooters, & strollers and to lay them down on the lawn in solidarity.

CONTACT FOR MORE INFO

 


Geneva Village 2022

Vibrant Littleton supports redevelopment of Geneva Village

Dear Littleton City Councilmembers,

Vibrant Littleton endorses the staff recommendation as stated in the August 22, 2023, Council Study Session about Geneva Village:

Proceed with plan to redevelop property to meet goals for more housing and integration with Project Downtown with the following principles: 

-  Support the northern gateway emphasis
-  Majority-affordable residential use
-  Incorporation of Eugene Sternberg historic design principles
-  Integration of rental and for-sale in the gateway
-  Expanding community and downtown amenities through mixed-use
-  Partnership with Private Owners and LDDA 

As the City owns the property, it is in total control of redevelopment that will further fulfill the City’s Vision and Guiding Principles as well as specific goals stated in Envision Littleton. The staff recommendation offers the most opportunities to accomplish:

  • More housing options for people from a wide range of age groups and income levels
  • Homes that connect people to the community, resources and mobility choices
  • Enhanced revenue with mixed-use development
  • Creation of ‘a sense of place’ to our historic downtown by creating a gateway in the  Prince Street corridor
  • Incorporating historic Eugene Sternberg design principles which will further the unique character of this redevelopment

The Geneva Village property has been in limbo for far too many years instead of serving our community in the greatest way possible. Vibrant Littleton believes that now is the time to act and we urge City Council to proceed with redevelopment options as indicated in the August 22 staff presentation.

Thank you,

Vibrant Littleton

 

cc: colcityclerk@littletongov.org, jbecklenberg@littletongov.org, kschlachter@littletongov.org, grydin@littletongov.org, sbarr@littletongov.org, pdriscoll@littletongov.org, pgrove@littletongov.org, kmilliman@littletongov.org, jvaldes@littletongov.org,


Vibrant Littleton appreciates street improvements and shares our six roadway design priorities

woman riding bike with smile on a protected bikelane at sidewalk grade

 

Dear City Manager Becklenburg and Public Works Director Riester,

Vibrant Littleton would like to express our enthusiastic support of the bikeway improvements planned at Jackass Hill Road & Mineral Avenue. By building superior places to cycle, we’re also building a superior place to live. When Littleton transitions space reserved for cars to walking and bike-riding space, we gain safer mobility options that are less expensive to maintain. A true win/win for our community.

And we’re excited about further walking, rolling, and biking improvements at Prince/Santa Fe and Prince/Church. Kudos to the City and our Department of Public Works team who are bringing these upgrades to our streets.


Vibrant Littleton Street Design Priorities

As the City of Littleton moves forward with improving our streets, sidewalks, and bikeways, here are six things we’d like our city to prioritize:

  • Create protected bike lanes at grade with sidewalks (ie, do not place vulnerable rolling users with car lanes)
  • Shorten crosswalks with bulb-outs at every corner
  • Program “leading pedestrian intervals” at all signalized intersections
  • Remove slip lanes and center turn-lanes
  • Eliminate pedestrian call buttons (provide “Walk symbol during green light phases automatically)
  • Minimize street corner radii to the maximum extent possible


Invite Us

Vibrant Littleton would welcome opportunities to give feedback on street design schematics in addition to the visioning process (such as the ‘Broadway Corridor Study’). Details are so important to get right in our street design. We would welcome participation in the later stage of infrastructure plans, so please invite us when specific road and hardscape designs are being drafted.

Sincerely,

Vibrant Littleton