RiNo hits pause on Brighton Boulevard name change, will have public meeting

Members of RiNo’s General Improvement District have been weighing the idea of changing Brighton to “Broadway North” or a similar name.

Construction on Brighton Boulevard, Five Points, June 14, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Construction on Brighton Boulevard, Five Points, June 14, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) Giambrocco; rino; five points; development; commercial real estate; construction; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
Construction on Brighton Boulevard in June 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A governing board in River North won’t make a decision just yet on whether it should start a process that could potentially rename Brighton Boulevard in Denver, according to its president.

Members of RiNo’s General Improvement District have been weighing the idea of changing Brighton to “Broadway North” or a similar name.

They don’t have the power to do that directly, but they can ask property owners to vote on the question, according to Jamie Licko, president of the RiNo Art District. If enough landowners along Brighton approve, the name could be changed.

The board was considering whether to initiate that voting process on Wednesday, but decided not to do it just yet, Licko told Denverite.

The GID board is waiting for more information from the city about the name change process — and they also want to hear from the community.

“They feel there has been a lot of isolated discussions for some time now about this in the neighborhood and in the media,” Licko wrote in an email. The district plans to have a public meeting late next month, though the details haven’t been confirmed yet.

The meeting “will be beneficial in determining how the neighborhood in general feels about this and help inform those who would eventually be voting.”

Bernard Hurley, a developer and member of the board, was confident that the board would eventually put the question in front of property owners.

“The general improvement district is not advocating the name, but they’re pushing the process,” he said. The GID is funded by extra taxes in the district and has some authority to manage projects.

Meanwhile, the idea of changing “Brighton” to “Broadway” has gotten mixed reviews.

Hurley is one who wants to see the change happen. “I think that the reason I like it is because Broadway’s an iconic name. Brighton Boulevard’s going to be the new gateway into the city,” he said Thursday.

“It’s a national destination point, and Broadway’s an iconic name — a compelling, iconic name.”

In emails to Denverite, several readers raised objections to the proposal.

“As a native of Denver who grew up going on and around Brighton Blvd, I protest! Why can’t people just leave Denver alone??!!” wrote Lisa Archuleta.

Another reader didn’t mind the idea of a change, but questioned the logic of “Broadway North.”

“Sounds like the developer’s idea for a shopping area doesn’t it?” the anonymous self-described North Denver native wrote.

“Yo genius newbies, keep it simple — just change it to Broadway.  Save your ‘branding’ ideas for those oh so not attractive and architecturally boring boxes you will build in ‘Broadway North.’”

Kiel Mullen raised the question of whether the name change would create confusion, considering that there’s a disconnected segment of Broadway that begins near the interchange of interstates 25 and 70, not far from Brighton Boulevard.

Todd Bradley had much the same problem. “If what’s called Brighton now becomes Broadway North, you’d have Broadway North actually east of (North) Broadway in one place, with no connection!” he wrote.

That’s an issue the board is considering, Hurley said.

And I’m sure we’ll hear a lot more opinions on this idea at the meeting next month. I’ll update this post when we have a date for the meeting.

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 akenney@denverite.com.