Denver in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, Oct. 4

Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the 1920s. (Denver Public Library/Denver News collection/R7100253890)

Hey everybody. In today’s news: Mountain snow, a serious conversation in the schools, affordable transit-oriented development, downtown parking and the 16th Street Mall. Let’s do it.

Try not to drive in the mountains today or tomorrow.

It’s a snowy mess. (Denverite)

Denver Public Schools are in the middle of a conversation about institutional racism.

The school district commissioned a report that detailed black educators’ feelings of isolation, rejection, and reports of unfairly harsh punishments for black students. Superintendent Tom Boasberg said it was “painful to read,” and now will convene several working groups to address the problems over the next seven months. (Chalkbeat)

A sizable affordable project is planned for the new G Line.

Confluence Companies plans to spend $6.6 million to buy an entire city block near the 41st and Fox rail station on the soon-to-open G Line. The spot is just west of I-25, near Sunnyside. The project could include 300 homes for sale and rent, and the company is seeking millions in public money. (BusinessDen)

Here’s an argument about downtown parking.

The Denver Post recently ran an op-ed arguing that downtown Denver parking is getting too expensive for office workers. In response, Streetsblog’s David Sachs points out that the median monthly parking rate (now $175) has been rising on pace with inflation – and maybe parking shouldn’t be cheap anyway. (Streetsblog)

Is stoned driving really up in Colorado?

A federal law-enforcement group claims marijuana related traffic deaths have increased sharply, with twice the percentage of drivers in fatal crashes testing positive for marijuana. The Colorado State Patrol is also reporting more tickets for driving while stoned – but all this is muddied by the fact that marijuana stays in the system for a long time and there’s not enough evidence to develop a firm test for weed impairment. So, to answer my own question: Maybe, but we don’t know how much it matters.(Summit Daily)

Democrats have been making gains here.

They’ve significantly outpaced Republicans in registering voters this election season. For the first time in decades, active registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. However, independents are still king of the hill. (Denverite)

What will convince people to stay on 16th Street Mall?

Here’s the challenge: The Mall was designed in part to move a lot of people. It’s a major link in Denver’s transit system. Retailers and city planners, however, want more of those people to linger. Despite a significant increase in pedestrian traffic, that doesn’t seem to be happening. (Denverite)

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email