Denver, November 14, 2014. – 400 leaders and visionaries spanning all industry sectors, from across the Denver metro region, came together today to celebrate how we are revitalizing our communities in tandem with the development of transit infrastructure. The event featured nine nominees for outstanding leadership and winners were announced for the first time today.
The 4th Annual Transit Event included presentations from Phil Washington, RTD , Mark Imhoff, CDOT and started with the complete transformation of the EXDO Events Center into an interactive streetscape with car2go, Ridescout, E-Tuk, B-Cycle and Streetscapes Street Furniture. Attendees were greeted by a bike lane stretching across the floor and welcoming them to sit in the city and enjoy some coffee.
Transit Alliance Executive Director, Kathleen Osher opened the program challenging attendees to think about how “we stand on the cutting-edge as we work to revitalize our communities in tandem with the development of more choices in transportation.” She added that “the positive impacts that can be realized on growth patterns, community development, and the health of our citizens are tremendous.”
Phil Washington, General Manager and CEO of the Regional Transportation District, delivered the State of Transit Address and unveiled his National Infrastructure Day. Washington is calling for leaders at all levels to elevate the importance of investing in infrastructure in April 2015. Washington was elected as Chairman of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) in October 2014.
Mark Imhoff then debuted the new statewide bus service, the Bustang. This new interregional express bus system along I-25 and I-70 includes 3 lines: the Green Line/North Route between Downtown Denver and Ft. Collins; the Blue Line/West Route between Glenwood Springs and Downtown Denver and the Orange Line/South Route between Downtown Denver and Tejon. Service starts in March 2015.
The final part of the program celebrated outstanding leadership in three areas: an outstanding graduate of the Transit Alliance Citizens’ Academy, outstanding leadership by an organization and outstanding leadership by an individual. The outstanding leadership by an individual award is named in honor of the late Denver City Councilwoman Carla Madison. Councilwoman Madison served on the Transit Alliance Board of Directors from 2007-2011 and was a great champion of livability and improving the mobility of citizens throughout the region.
2014 AWARD HONOREES
Outstanding Graduate of the Transit Alliance Citizens’ Academy – Senator Rachel Zenzinger
In recognition of her outstanding contributions as a Colorado State Senator from among the 680 graduates of the Transit Alliance Citizens’ Academy. The Academy is a seven-week emerging leader program designed to “educate and motivate” community stakeholders by encouraging their involvement in the ongoing development of FasTracks and other transit-oriented projects throughout the region. The tribute video is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Lb2yjTyLKU.
The two other nominees for the award included Joel Noble – Spring 2007Graduate and Denver Planning Board Member and Karen Hancock – Spring 2008 Graduate and Lead Staff for Aurora’s Citizens’ Planning Academy.
Outstanding Leadership by an Organization – Urban Land Conservancy
In recognition of their outstanding contribution in the region to preserve affordable housing along FasTracks corridors through land banking and Real Estate Development. The tribute video is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_XUtKEgxp8.
The two other nominees for the award included the Southeast Governments (City of Lone Tree, Douglas County, RidgeGate and Denver South TMA) for committing up to $40 million needed to complete the Southeast Extension project and the Union Station Alliance for their restoration of the Historic Denver Union Station.
Outstanding Leadership by an Individual/Carla Madison Award – Mayor Jim Gunning, City of Lone Tree
Lone Tree Mayor Jim Gunning was awarded the Carla Madison Award for Outstanding Leadership by an Individual for his leadership of MPACT-64 working to find consensus strategies to increase transportation funding for all of Colorado.
The tribute video is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4xpBSAwHb0&feature=youtu.be
The two other nominees for the award included Tom Clark, Metro Denver EDC for his leadership of the Homeownership Opportunity Alliance; and Chad McWhinney, McWhinney for his completion and restoration of the historic Denver Union Station.\
Incoming Transit Alliance Board Chairman, Chris Waggett of D4 Urban closed the program with his story of commitment to transit and community building. “I am personally a huge advocate for public transit by virtue of personal experience overseas, from being an Alumnus of the Citizens Academy Fall 2011 class and as the developer of RTD’s 1st Pilot Transit Oriented Community or TOC project where we are transforming Alameda Station from a park-and-ride into a Benchmark TOC project & as a catalyst for the transformation of the Denver Design District over the next 20+ years.” He shared the new 5E’s of Transit Alliance – Educate, Engage, Energize, Empower and Enterprise and welcomed attendees to get more involved in 2015.