Today’s Headlines

  • Denver Post: Felony DUI Law Needs Sharper Teeth
  • Denver YIMBYs Flip Script on Anti-Density NIMBYs (Confluence)
  • South Broadway Shop Owner Says Bike Lane Ruins Everything, Fox31 Hands Him Megaphone
  • Aurora Mobile Home Owners Protest TOD Development (Sentinel)
  • Montbello Is a Food Desert, But Neighborhood Gets No Love From Grocery Stores (Westword)
  • Streetlights Go LED in Colorado Cities (CPR)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Brian Schroder

    When you run a Google search on Le Grues Flowershop you can see why no one goes there “Le Grues Flowers AKA leGrues FLowers and Gifts Rip Off, Hostile owners, Harrassing, Poor Buisness Ethics Denver Colorado”

    • MT

      It does seem like the only businesses complaining about the bike lane are ones that aren’t doing well in the first place and looking for something to blame.
      The majority of businesses on Broadway have been very supportive.

    • TakeFive

      Sorry, I think you are being very unfair.

      1) I followed your lead and found the (ONE) complaint on Ripoff Report. Given the back and forth between shop and customer (did you read all that?) I wouldn’t know who to side with so I’d be interested to hear why you sided with the customer. Also, given that this was a 3rd Party transaction it doesn’t surprise me that 1-800-Flowers is not as good as advertised.

      2) Just to double check I also added “problems” to my search which usually brings up more links. Nope, only that one. There was a complaint from another customer on Yelp. Interestingly, the recipient was delighted but the sender was upset the flowers didn’t match her order. While the comment doesn’t say I suspect we have another 3rd party transaction.

      3) It feels like you jumped to likely faulty conclusions on rather skimpy feedback. There was a 3rd complaint back in 2013 that the shop tried to resolve by redelivering the flowers. I don’t know how may businesses you’ve run but restaurants would die for only 3 complaints over 4 years. People (even me) can be irrational sometimes.

  • TakeFive

    With respect to the shop on South Broadway Le Grues has been in business for 35 years. Perhaps owner Ron Vicksman (and others) deserve to be heard.

    I would also add that the talking points used by Emily Snyder with Denver Public Works were a head scratcher. There may be very good reasons for having bike lanes on South Broadway but I’d suggest a talking points refresher class.

    • Aaron

      There will be changes. Vicksman’s complaint regarded lack of parking as an issue, when a bike lane would increase the number of slowly moving bicyclists passing the shop, who could easily be drawn in to the shop.

      Additionally, he cites congestion as an issue, when the entire project is intended to increase the total number of people able to travel through the corridor, if doing so by reducing cars. More people passing by his shop /without/ cars means less reliance on parking spaces for business.

      35 years ago, Denver was changing from what it had been as half the city was torn down to make way for parking. Businesses had to learn to adapt. Not to mention that businesses near established bike lanes throughout Denver and the country say that bike lanes have helped their small businesses. If Vickman is unwilling to cater to explore new opportunities, then he’s just not a great businessman. That is not the city’s fault.

      Denver is changing whether you like it or not. It’s time, not to decide how big we want Denver to grow, but whom we want to build for: we can make Denver a great place to live, or we can make it an easy commute for suburbanites driving to work. I for one am fine with more space for people and less space for empty cars.

      • TakeFive

        Aaron, thanks for the thorough reply. Couple of things.

        35 years ago the Blue Bonnet Cafe was considered by many to be an undiscovered hole-in-the-wall gem place to eat great Mexican food, gather, tip a few or play a little pool. I can vouch for the food, at least back then.

        I don’t “like it or not” bcuz I don’t have a dog in this fight. I may be a bit skeptical but I’m open minded and it’s for the City of Denver to decide. Whether the owners and tenants of the multi-$billions of investment that make up downtown are as hostile towards suburbanites as you I couldn’t say. I’ll let them speak for themselves.

        I can assure you I have more empathy for a small business owner who’s livelihood is at stake. But I’ll wait for more feedback from all who use and have businesses along this corridor. Apparently so far people who ride bikes don’t like or buy flowers?

        • Aaron

          I have empathy for small businesses. My dad had a small business for nearly 30 years but it folded during the recession. Mostly due to an unwillingness to change outdated methods to get new business. Florists aren’t struggling because of a lack of parking, it’s competition from online flower delivery and cheaper options.

          Denver is changing, again, whether you fight tooth and nail or not. We can saddle ourselves with pollution and congestion by only ever widening roads, or we can try something new. The point of streetsblog is to have a say in the change that’s happening. We understand that things are going to change and if we try hard enough, we can make sure that the change benefits the majority of Denverites.

          As for my hostility toward suburbia, that comes from living in suburbia the vast majority of my life and realizing how asinine suburban-style development is. And developers are not at all hostile to suburbanites. That’s why new downtown office buildings have 13 floors of parking when the majority of downtown residents don’t commute with a personal auto. In fact, they should be more hostile to suburbanites, but that’s neither here nor there. To simplify my argument: who are we building for, cars or people? 35 years ago, it was certainly the former. But if some of us are loud enough, hopefully that trend will (continue) to change.

          • TakeFive

            Good points.

            Small point, but I specifically didn’t mention developers. I stated owners and tenants. Developers may or may not be long term holders.

            Investors in downtown Denver including some from overseas are very fond of Denver’s transit investments. With respect to tenants, it is worth noting that there has been a rapid change in what many tenants are using for square foot per employee, It’s dropped 40-50 percent in recent years. That means yesterdays scrapers could tomorrow have nearly twice as many workers inside. Nobody wants to be stuck with a big investment with inadequate parking.

            While about 40% of downtown workers use transit nearly 44% come by vehicle. In the RTD district only about 4% currently use transit. Despite your own prejudices about roads they are all people and voters too. Interestingly transit ridership has trended down for a couple of years, down a little over 3% last year. While I’m a big fan of transit and am optimistic, it’s also good to acknowledge the facts as they are.

          • Aaron

            Owners and tenants of downtown buildings and establishments don’t need to cater to suburbanites. So that point is irrelevant.

            Inadequate parking is relative. As in, parking is heavily subsidized. Want proof? Boulder is going to spend nearly $20 million on a parking garage that still will not be turning a profit after 30 years, and is literally just a place to put a vehicle when no one is using it.

            RTD is made up of a lot of suburbs. Part of the problem is that a lot of funding is going for suburban lines that will never have frequent ridership due to low density or low frequency. I have lived in RTD district cities for nearly 20 years, and have been within one mile of a bus stop for 4 out of those 20 years. Furthermore, I have been located near a high frequency stop, even if that includes the bus stop I lived next to that ran twice an hour, 7-7, M-F, for about a year out of 20 in the district. People don’t use transit in those places because it is literally impossible.

            The “facts as they are” are that sinking funds into lackluster programs create programs bound to fail; spending billions of dollars on commuter trains to the suburbs with low density are bound to fail, not to mention the fact that a large portion of the budget is going to create vast swaths of underutilized parking.

            They “facts” are that good transit increases ridership. Need proof? The Flatiron Flyer, itself a laughable attempt at Bus Rapid Transit, has seen ridership increases beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Furthermore, transit riders and car commuters alike should appreciate good transit, because the 60+ people on my bus were not driving down the highways in cars, but rather sharing just one vehicle. Not to mention that millennials are much more likely to ditch a car in favor of an alternative mode of transport.

            So, please stop feigning common sense and support for conscious development and people first planning. Your “facts” are simply evidence of a mismanaged system, and we refuse to accept them as immutable realities. If you think progress reached its peak at the pinnacle of the automobile, then this forum is probably not meant for you.

      • MT

        One point about the loss of parking spots on Broadway, most of the spots lost are due to left turn lanes they created in the design. So, the loss of parking is not really due to the existence of the bike lane, but because of the desire to maintain high throughput of vehicles driving down Broadway.
        It could easily be redesigned to include more parking if people can handle a bit less vehicle capacity for their rush hour stampede.

    • Brian Schroder

      I agree that a bike lane will be problematic for any florist that depends on a clientele that only uses cars for visiting its shop. Even a loyal customer would be bothered by additional parking woes the bike lane creates. However, South Broadway has always had a parking problem and that really is the problem with having a shop like this on South Broadway. Unfortunately, for LeGrues there are many market forces at work that are endangering his shop and the bike lane will only add to that. Should we save the florist? Or save the city and South Broadway? His business is already under siege form online florists, grocery stores and other wholesales that have put many small shops out of business and will continue to do so.

    • Sanperson

      “talking points,” what a lame term.

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