Here Are the Newly Elected Members of the RTD Board

Last night’s election was good for transit in cities that asked voters to approve funding measures. But don’t get it twisted: Republicans have baked anti-transit, anti-city stances into their party platform, and they now control the White House and Congress. For RTD, an agency that relies on some federal funding, the potential implications are troubling.

Here in Denver, there were no funding measures on the ballot, but voters did elect eight people to the Regional Transportation District Board of Directors.

The directors will help guide a transit agency grappling with how to serve a rapidly growing population. The RTD is building out a mostly suburban rail network with lots of park-and-rides, while fares are growing unaffordable for poorer residents. The local transit network in Denver proper, meanwhile, remains sparse compared to peer cities, and the agency’s budget is heavily dependent on a volatile sales tax. There’s a lot that directors can do to improve the system if they make good decisions.

Here is how the candidates fared.

Kate Williams: District A

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 1.17.53 PM
Image: Colorado Secretary of State

Kate Williams ran on the platform of “more rides for more people” — more bus routes, running more frequently, and easier to reach by foot or bike. She’ll replace Bill James. Williams also said she will bring an equity lens to the board, shaped by her advocacy work for the elderly and the disabled.

Judy Lubow: District I

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 1.20.11 PM
Image: Colorado Secretary of State

Judy Lubow squeaked out a victory in District I, where the main campaign issue was finishing the Northwest rail line, promised in 2004 by the FasTracks ballot measure, but never delivered. Lubow was the incumbent.

Natalie Menten: District M

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 1.20.25 PM
Image: Colorado Secretary of State

Natalie Menten, an incumbent, describes herself as a fiscal hawk. She barely beat former District M director Dave Ruchman to gain a second term.

Claudia Folska: District E

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 1.19.40 PM
Image: Colorado Secretary of State

Claudia Folska, who is blind, relies on the transit system. She kept her seat handily. We’ll see if her plan to market RTD better and her background as a pedestrian advocate translate to better transit and more walkable station areas.

Jeff Walker: District D

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 1.19.07 PM
Image: Colorado Secretary of State

Jeff Walker, the incumbent, ran unopposed. A planner who works for Excel Energy, he’s been a director since 2011.

Doug Tisdale: District H

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 1.20.04 PM
Image: Colorado Secretary of State

Doug Tisdale is the former mayor of Cherry Hills Village. A self-described “attorney, advocate, business leader, and nonprofit executive,” Tisdale ran unopposed. He’ll take over for Kent Bagley, who handpicked Tisdale as his successor.

Ken Mihalik: District G

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 1.19.57 PM
Image: Colorado Secretary of State

Ken Mihalik also ran unopposed. Mihalik didn’t do much, if any, campaigning this year, but he did in 2012 when he was endorsed by the Douglas County Republicans.

Bob Broom: District F

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 1.19.48 PM
Image: Colorado Secretary of State

Bob Broom is an Aurora pol who ran unopposed. A former city councilman, Broom says good public transportation is key for Colorado’s economic vitality.

  • Véronique Bellamy

    Yeah, it’s a shame Judy won. We all lost by Judy’s victory.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Today’s Headlines

|
Of Course GOP Lawmakers Will Push New Transpo Bill Focused on Highway Expansion (DBJ) …In the Meantime, Thank Sens. Tate, Neville, and Hill for Traffic (Sentinel) Following Lawsuit, RTD to Retrofit Light Rail Cars for Wheelchairs (DenPo) Note to NIMBYs: People Have to Live Somewhere (9News) Eight-Story Building in West Colfax Will Have 56 For-Sale […]

Today’s Headlines

|
The Freeway-First Transport Tax Bill Is Dead (DenPo, DBJ) … But More Road-Focused Measures May Be Coming (Denverite) City May Now Bond $900 Million for Transport, Other Projects (DenPo) Illogically, Crashes and Congestion Have CDOT Talking Eight-Lane I-25 (DenPo) Driver Seriously Injures Person Walking at Sixth and Speer (DenPo) Driver Killes 62-Year-Old Man in the […]
Denver Public Works crews install a protected bike lane on 14th Avenue. Photo: David Sachs

Here Comes the 14th Ave Protected Bike Lane

|
Denver Public Works crews began installing a protected bike lane on West 14th Avenuee this week, the first new protected bikeway of 2017. It should be ready to ride by next week. The bikeway, which replaces a standard, striped bike lane, will run for a half-mile between Speer Boulevard and  Bannock Street — or about […]