It Was Fun While It Lasted: Pong Island Got Paddled by Parks & Rec

CCHN Members,
A family in our community donated their ping pong table to the island at Williams and 4th and “Pong Island” was born. Members of our neighborhood and many others walking through CCHN enjoyed the chance to stop, play a few games and enjoy our beautiful area. Sadly, Denver Parks & Rec gave the family 48 hours to remove the table, arguing that they were unable to mow the island. The following article was published about the story in the Westword last week, for those wondering what happened to this neighborhood gem.

The tip was top-secret. “Have you heard about Pong Island?” asked my source. “It’s incredible, but you can’t write about it. That would ruin it.”

I stayed mum, but the secret escaped anyway. And Pong Island was sunk, given 48 hours by the city to disappear or be disappeared.

The pandemic has sparked creativity and community in all kinds of ways. In Italy, residents of adjacent apartment complexes stood on their balconies and joined in song. In Denver, two people decided to start howling at 8 p.m., and that sound echoed from Cheesman Park around the world. A few blocks away, at East Fourth Avenue and Williams Street, a homeowner decided to put a ping-pong table in the middle of a traffic island in a very residential area, equip it with paddles and balls, and nail up a sign announcing the sudden existence of Pong Island.

Tom Filippini had grown up playing ping-pong in suburban Chicago with his brothers. “Ping-pong was our go-to,” he says. Once he was living in the 400 block of Williams with a family of his own, he got an all-weather ping-pong table and set it up alternately in the backyard, the basement and even the driveway, back in the days when you could invite your neighbors over to invade your space.

But there hadn’t been much call for table tennis in his household as the pandemic dragged on, and with spring finally moving in, he had a brainstorm: He’d put the ping-pong table on an empty traffic island just down the block, where it would create a diversion for his neighbors and “be put to more frequent and better use than it was at our house,” he recalls thinking. “I sort of latch onto these ideas, and maybe I take them a little too far, but this would be a really interesting lesson in humanity.” And he’d execute the idea anonymously, creating a QR code — “I learned that from all the restaurants during the pandemic” — for sign-ups and comments. “We wanted to keep it on the DL as a community amenity,” he explains.

He enlisted his children in the stealth campaign, and waited for “the opportune moment to make our strike.” It came early one Sunday morning about three weeks ago, when he and his daughter — the only child who proved willing to get up — started rolling the table down the driveway. “It was so loud, and it was so quiet at four in the morning,” he recalls.

Still, no one stirred, and they were able to set up the table and nail up the Pong Island sign — purchased on Etsy — and get back home without anyone noticing. One complaint, Filippini promised himself, and he’d remove the table.

But no complaints came. Instead, the community did. “Every time I pulled around the corner, someone was playing,” he marvels. Neighbors used the QR code to sign up, and to talk about how much they enjoyed the table. One woman noted that since a paddle was broken, she’d ordered some new ones on Amazon.

“I wanted to create community,” Filippini recalls. “I had no idea it would actually play out the way it would. It was such a simple thing, but it brought people together…from all walks of life.”

In a way, he says, it made him think about how “ping-pong diplomacy” had helped China and the United States resume relations four decades ago.

But even Henry Kissinger couldn’t win a game against the toughest opponent on Pong Island: Denver bureaucracy.

As the city’s mowing season finally got under way — delayed by snow, then rain — a Department of Parks and Recreation crew discovered Pong Island, with its illegal sign, illegal table and illegal fun. Ironically, players had been having so much fun that there was almost no grass left to mow.

Even so, on May 11, park ranger Matthew Paul posted a notice on the table that the “personal items” would have to be removed from public property by 5 p.m. May 13, or they would be confiscated. He also used the QR code to leave a comment with the same warning.

Filippini saw it and broke his anonymity. He identified himself as the perpetrator to the city, and asked for a stay of execution. He alerted the players who’d left email addresses along with comments on the site (one of them my source, whom he’d never met) that Pong Island’s days were numbered. “It seems there are bigger fish to fry in Denver parks than a ping-pong table, but hey,” he wrote. “It was fun while it lasted ????…”

He shared some of the comments with the city.

“This is amazing! Thank you!,” one neighbor had written.

“What a wonderful gift to the neighborhood! We love ping pong and will do our part to respect and maintain this happy diversion. THANK YOU for having this brilliant idea, putting it together and providing a simple joy for all to share.”

“Had so much fun playing today! Thanks for setting this up!!”

“Love Pong Island! I live in the neighborhood and have played and enjoy the fact that I’ve seen so many people playing. What a great idea.”

“Thank you for this amazing set up. My husband and three boys are looking forward to some serious tournaments this summer.”

“Pong Island is amazing! So glad we found it and played two games. The world needs more of this. Thank you!”

Filippini had hoped that these sentiments would score points with Parks and Rec, but the city still found Pong Island out of bounds.

“We want people to get out and enjoy the parks,” explains Deputy Manager/Parks Scott Gilmore. “They’re busier now more than ever.” And because of that, the city has to play by the rules.

In order to keep the parks safe, early on during the pandemic, the department had pulled down basketball hoops and removed tennis court nets in an attempt to keep people from congregating and ignoring social distancing guidelines. “But everything’s back up now,” Gilmore says. “The parks are fully open, and rec centers are trying to get back on line.”

And city crews are going out to mow Denver’s 6,000 acres of parkland, including that little triangular travel median that had been dubbed Pong Island. Although Filippini suggested that he’d be willing to move the table for the mowers — no mention of the fact that the games had killed off the grass, anyway — Gilmore says that wouldn’t work. “We just don’t allow individuals to drop things in the park,” he explains. “I appreciate him doing something positive. If I allowed one group to do it, though, then I’m going to have stuff in every park. It would be chaos.”

And so Pong Island was sunk. When Filippini returned home from work on May 13 (a pilot, he’s in the aviation business), a city crew was getting ready to take the table. Filippini took it back to his house. “I’m ready to roll it back down there,” he promises..

But as far as Gilmore is concerned, the game’s over. He suggests that players head to the Carla Madison Rec Center at 2401 East Colfax Avenue, which has four ping-pong tables outside, as well as a climbing rock and “all these types of outdoor activities.”

Or, he notes, “there are plenty of big yards in that neighborhood. Put it in your front yard.”

Not on a traffic triangle. “There are some things I just have to say no to,” Gilmore explains. “Everybody’s mad at me for something.”

One of those things? The fact that a decade ago, a rich resident who lived in a big house on the Fourth Avenue Parkway, right by Pong Island, was allowed to put a sidewalk up to the front door of his pricey home despite the fact that his front yard was really a city park. Maybe the ping-pong table should go there, one neighbor suggests.

Others wonder why the city is so eager to get rid of ping-pong when homeless encampments are popping up all over the city. If that table was a tent instead, Pong Island would still be in business, they say.

In the meantime, though, the spirit of Pong Island keeps bouncing along.

A couple of days after he moved the table back home, Filippini was driving through the neighborhood when, a few blocks away, at Fifth and Columbine, he saw that a ping-pong table had been put in a driveway between the sidewalk and the street, in what looked like a copycat attempt to coax out the community.

“It’s created a movement,” he says.

Match to Pong Island.

Things To Do

Forget Me Not (227 Clayton) is the new cocktail destination that includes a small-plate menu and live music.
Colorado Rockies: The baseball team is allowing fans at 25% capacity.
Colorado Avalanche: Hockey is for in-person watching too!
Denver Nuggets: They’ve been on fire much of the season! Catch them now and hopefully into the playoffs.
Denver Art Museum: From Paris to Hollywood: The Fashion and Influence of Véronique and Gregory Peck (until July 18th). The Pecks were influencers of their time.
Denver Botanic Gardens: Tulips are blooming in April! Two art exhibitions-
Dreams in Bloom – Fares Micue (until May 16); Radiant Season- Kevin Sloan (until July 11)
Denver Center for Performing Arts: Until The Flood, a fictional piece about the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death (enjoy this for free and on-demand until Fall 2023)
Denver Museum of Nature and Science: SUE: The T. Rex Experience (through April 25th); Stonehenge: Ancient Mysteries and Modern Discoveries (until September 24)
Denver Terrors Ghost Tour: Despite the name, this family-friendly attraction weaves its way through nine to 14 different haunted sites around Capitol Hill while telling historical and spooky stories (
Permit-less Hikes (no permits required to enjoy these outdoor escapes)
• Flat Top Wilderness
• Maroon Bells – Snowmass Wilderness
• Lost Creek Wilderness
• Indian Peaks Wilderness

Group Living Update

Denver’s City Council voted 11-2 to pass the Group Living Text Amendment on February 8th, 2021. The Text Amendment seeks to update Denver’s zoning codes and make housing more inclusive and equitable. The CCHN board voted unanimously against the Group Living Text ​Amendment ​initial draft based upon the results of a neighborhood survey in which the vast majority of residents opposed the draft.
After much city-wide deliberation and compromise, the Group Living Text Amendment was revised to stipulate:​
A maximum of 5 unrelated and related adults can live together, with an unlimited number of minor children. Previously, 2 unrelated persons with unlimited adult and minor relatives were allowed to live in a single-family home. Multigenerational families may still live together as previously allowed.
All residential care facilities (senior living, homeless shelters, community corrections, etc) were reclassified under one definition and their zoning is regulated primarily on size. Community Corrections facilities of any size will not be allowed in single family neighborhoods, including CCHN. Other residential care facilities are restricted in single family neighborhoods, including CCHN, depending upon their size. Facilities with 10 or fewer residents are limited to 3 total facilities within a 1-mile radius (in contrast to the original draft, which allowed an unlimited number of facilities with 8 or fewer guests in single family districts, with the exception of shelters which were not previously allowed in single family districts).
Larger facilities will still have a cap of 20 people in single family districts and will now be restricted to parcels previously used for a civic, public or institutional use (e.g. churches, schools, government buildings), which are not in CCHN.

Spring Planting

Spring flowers are some of the most beautiful and appreciated blossoms. After we dig out from a season of snow, we can count on all that moisture to bring us a glorious array of varieties and colors. And, they arrive before the Japanese Beetles! (More on that later.)

No garden should be without peonies. Once planted, they can live for decades with very little attention and have a wide range of bloom times so that you could have fragrant bouquets for up to 7 weeks. Petal colors range from white to yellow, coral, pink purple and red in delicate single layers or lush doubles.

Heirloom varieties have heavenly fragrances and are less expensive. Hybridization has created plants with stronger stems, but little fragrance. ‘Hot Chocolate’ is a late mid season fragrant Japanese type. ‘Eden’s Perfume’ is considered one of the most fragrant peonies, with a Damask rose fragrance.  

Root stock peonies are planted in the fall and may take a year or two to produce flowers, but then keep going for 50+ years.  Potted plants from a local nursery bloom this year. Plant with a little bone meal and compost in a location with 6-8 hours of sun. They don’t like to be moved, so picking the right spot and amending the soil are keys to success. After that, just cut the foliage to the ground in fall, add a layer of mulch and know that the cold weather is helping create blossoms for another year.

Back to the Beetles…they are here to stay.  There is no known way to totally eradicate them right now. Reproduction rates may stabilize, however. The best control still is early morning flicking into a cup of soapy water.  Traps that you may have seen hanging in trees around the neighborhood are only causing us all more problems. Beetles travel up to 5 miles. The traps just bring more bugs to our neighborhood.  Putting the traps in the parkways doesn’t remove them from your garden. The parkways aren’t watered as much as your lawn probably is and don’t have the delicious variety of plants – Japanese Beetles are known to munch on over 400 species. Females repeatedly tunnel into your lawn over a two-to-three week period and lay up to 60 eggs each. The more you water and the shorter your grass, the happier they are.  July and August are very hot months for us, but if you can cut your watering a little and let your grass grow to 3 inches, it will be harder for them to get down where they need to go. There is a biological grub control that can be applied in late summer to fall that will kill only scarab beetle larvae: grubGONE! Ask about it at your nursery or click 

Remember to protect bees and other pollinators when choosing chemical controls in all areas of your garden. In the meantime, enjoy the crocus, tulips, daffodils, hellebores, allium, iris and peonies, beetle free.

Councilman’s Corner

Chris Hinds

Happy Spring, Country Club Historic Neighbors!

Spring this year feels even more special as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to lift. We’ve been up to a lot since I wrote last, and if you want a deeper dive into the work my office has been doing for all of District 10, I hope you sign up for our monthly newsletter at

One lovely sign of the pandemic lifting is that our libraries are starting to re-open! There will still be out-door service options, like curbside pick-up, but you can now visit inside Ross-Cherry Creek with COVID precautions in place. Thanks to our library staff who kept us with reading material during the darkest months of the pandemic.

I also want to give a huge thank you to constituent Chaun Powell and the other Country Club neighbors who quickly put together a virtual town hall meeting with Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen, Mayor Hancock, Denver’s District Attorney office, and me to discuss February’s serious security matter. Several homes in Country Club were broken into – including while families were at home. Mr. Powell jumped into citizen action mode after his own home experienced a break-in. He helped organize a large virtual meeting – with over 100 attendees – so neighbors could discuss and get advice on what they could do to keep safe. The good folks from Denver Police District 3 discussed basic safety, how to start neighborhood watch and, the best part, they believe they caught the perpetrator within a week, thanks in part to help from all of you.

There have been several police-related policies to help our officers have more time to devote to the prevention of these crime issues. Unfortunately, during the pandemic we saw a rise in crime around the country in addition to other concerning issues – like homelessness – that frequently involve police time and attention. The STAR program and co-responders are two of the ways we’re working with social service providers to ease the burden on our police. We’re seeing very positive results from this approach and, with the lifting of the pandemic, we are encouraged that crime rates will decline and that we can help Denver’s unhoused with more appropriate outreach. That will free the police to focus on matters that really require a police response.

When spring arrives, you might be thinking of spring cleaning. Our friends at the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure are getting ready to start sending out street sweepers. Did you know in 2020, Denver street sweeping crews swept 163,385 lane miles and collected 57,479 cubic yards of dirt and debris? That’s a lot of material that otherwise ends up polluting our air. Thank you, DOTI street-sweeping crew, for helping us keep Denver’s air clean.

Speaking of streets, keeping them free of snow is a big operation in Denver. And, we saw some serious white stuff during the big mid-March snow event! If you are curious about how DOTI prepares for and responds to snowstorms, have questions about how to safely shovel, remove snow from trees, need bike riding tips, and, especially important to me, how to report sidewalks and curb & gutter that needs to be shoveled, there is a ton of great material on DOTI’s snow webpage. There’s even a live plow tracker that you can watch. Just search “snow” on

If you don’t have the ability to clear your sidewalk and curb & gutter, Denver has a great volunteer program called Snow Angels that can help. And, if you have a bit of extra time and can aid someone in need during a snow event, Snow Angels would love your help. You can find more about Snow Angels on DOTI’s snow page.

As the weather warms, we’ll be seeing a lot more folks walking, biking, and rolling around. I recently brought in some yard signs that remind folks to “Drive Like Your Dog Lives Here” featuring a certain Council Dog. If you’d like a free sign, contact my office.

Speaking of activity in the streets – did you happen to catch Director of DOTI, Eulois Cleckley, speaking about both the 5280 Trail and Shared Streets during the District 10 Cabinet in the Community meeting in late February? You can view that meeting recording, including a presentation about how we’re addressing homelessness, at

To keep up with all the work we’re doing, I recommend signing up for our monthly newsletter and checking out, which features weekly, up-to-date blog posts and information items from city departments.

Happy Spring!

Letter From District 10 Councilman Chris Hinds

Happy Fall!
It’s been three months since I took office in Denver’s Perfect District 10. We’ve been busy getting oriented and meeting with a lot of you. I organized our office with three Aides helping to cover three distinct District 10 areas to cover a lot of District 10 territory. Our response time has been getting faster and faster. To date, our office has handled just shy of 200 constituent cases!
Here are just a handful of items you could find on the District 10 calendar:
• City Agency Speed Dating: We got a 10-minute intro to 35 different Denver departments and agencies where we met leadership, learned about organizational structure, were told about funding needs and issues, and who to reach out to when our constituents need help.
• 5280 Trail: This is a project I’m proud to champion. It’s great for District 10. More coming soon.
• City Contracts 101: Though City Council has a strong bully pulpit, the real authority of Council is over two areas of the City – approving contracts and passing legislation. While Mayor Hancock has our ear, City operations fall under the Mayor’s purview.
• Lobbyists: Whaaa? We met with several paid and unpaid lobbyists on various issues such the implementation of 5G cell towers and scooter safety, enforcement, and rules and regulations respectively. Both cell towers and scooters proved to be two of our first incredibly contentious issues.
• Developers: Whooo? It’s no news to you all that there is a lot of development happening across Denver, and quite a bit is in the Cherry Creek area. These meetings are important because we can help the community stay up to date on the latest information, and can reiterate issues around development that are important to all of you. Two priorities I make sure developers know that I’ll be looking out for are 1) the important relationship between land use and transit infrastructure and how development will address it, and 2) that development shouldn’t happen TO neighborhoods, it should happen FOR Perfect 10 neighborhoods.
• Transit Demand Management systems will be vital in helping Denver address the potential for hundreds of thousands of cars arriving with the new Denverites over the next 20 years. I’m supportive of alternatives that make it easy to forgo the automobile.
• Staff meetings: Each week we have two staff meetings that are an hour and a half long. It takes at least one hour to go over all our scheduling requests and event invitations. The rest of staff time is to talk through District office projects and trickier constituent issues….like those that might require mediation.
• Mediation: Sometimes constituents can be so passionate about multiple sides of an issue that we call in Denver’s mediator to help facilitate a productive conversation.
There is so much more I’d love to share with you and I look forward to doing that during your annual meeting. Teresa St Peter in our office has just started working with CCHN on several traffic calming concerns in Country Club so we’ll have an update on those when we see you next. In the meantime, please drive safe and watch out for our kids, who are back in school and going to be out and about on Halloween.
Sincerely, Chris

Secret Rooms Can Be Treasures Found

We are fortunate to have beautiful and unique architecture and design throughout our neighborhood. Perhaps one of the more intriguing elements is the secret or hidden room. These rooms can be found most anywhere in the house and are fun to discover. One such room is in the home of Anne and Matt Quallick. When they renovated and redesigned their lovely historic Tudor on Vine Street several years ago, Anne, an architect by trade, decided to incorporate this surprise feature for their two young boys. A whimsical “secret” room, accessed via false-front doorways, joins their bedrooms. “The boys never tire of showing friends the hidden doorways,” Quallick says, “They always react with delight as if it’s the first time they’ve discovered it.”

Break Ins / Be Aware

Sadly, there was a break-in on Vine Street yesterday early evening (5 PM). Someone walked through a gate and busted through a back door of one of our neighbors.

Please be aware of any strange vehicles or behavior in our neighborhood and promptly call police. Alternatively, you can call our security company who – if on patrol – will swing by. Their number is ‭(303) 603-3090‬. Please use your home alarms at ALL times.

Reminder: VOTE!

Tuesday is city-wide election day and ballots cannot be mailed at this point.  Vote by hand delivering to a ballot collection box or vote in person. 24 hour ballot boxes reside at the Denver Botanic Gardens and on the east side of the Cherry Creek Ross library. Every vote counts!!!

6th Avenue Learning

Take a class in the neighborhood! All in walking distance from your home, the following take place from 6th & Corona to 6th & Milwaukee:

MoonDance Botanicals – Reiki, soap-making, and herbals

Denver School of Photography – Digital photography, Photoshop or Lightroom

Trouts Fly Fishing – Casting, tying flies, or a trip out on the water.

Novo Coffee – Brewing, steaming and seed-to cup with your local barista.

The Truffle Cheese Shop – Buratta making or pairing cheese with beer or cider.

Apothecary Tinctura – Wellness, meditation, aromatherapy, herbalism and accupuncture.

Denver Divers – Swim and diving lessons, first aid and rescue.

Autonomous Shuttle

Autonomous Vehicle now deployed on Denver streets at RTD’s 61st and Peña Commuter Rail Station

DENVER, CO — Today marks the first on-road deployment of an autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttle in both Denver and the State of Colorado. The EasyMile 100 percent electric, autonomous shuttle made its debut this morning and will continue operating for the next six months. The self-driving shuttle will connect passengers from the 61st and Peña commuter rail station to the Panasonic and EasyMile offices and to the 61st and Peña Park-n-Ride lot via four stops. Mayor Michael B. Hancock joined representatives from the Regional Transportation District (RTD), EasyMile, Panasonic, Transdev, and L.C. Fulenwider, Inc. for a ribbon cutting and ride aboard the unit.

“We’re excited to see how driverless technology will work in Denver and to embrace new, innovative and better mobility options to move more people and improve travel for residents and visitors alike,” Mayor Hancock said.

Transdev will operate the EasyMile autonomous shuttle for the Denver RTD in a new route called 61AV, serving people who park and live near the 61st and Peña commuter rail station free of charge. The project’s main goal is to assess the viability of autonomous services in providing first and last mile connections to and from transit.

“RTD is pleased to participate in this groundbreaking partnership to explore how innovations in mobility are creating new and expanded opportunities for public transportation,” said RTD CEO and General Manager Dave Genova “The 61AV partnership allows us to interface directly with an autonomous vehicle demonstration and assess how this technology can be applied in a transit setting to meet the future mobility needs of the people and communities we serve.” 

The shuttle will run a predetermined route Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., making a complete loop every 15 minutes. Although it will not have a driver, an ambassador will be on the shuttle at all times to help answer questions and ensure safety for the passengers and operations. Transdev, will also provide the ambassador for the RTD service. Partners in this AV demonstration project believe autonomous shuttle services will transform local communities and become an integral part of how communities are designed in the future.

“Having an EasyMile autonomous shuttle circulating throughout the entire Peña Station NEXT and Peña Station NORTH developments will be a key element that will help change the overall complexion of real estate development…and it’s being tested now!,” said Cal Fulenwider, III, CEO and Chairman, L.C. Fulenwider, Inc.

The EasyMile shuttle will be programmed to make designated stops along predetermined routes (see attached maps). It runs an average speed of 12-15 miles per hour and can carry up to 12 passengers. This autonomous vehicle demonstration project is approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the newly-formed Colorado Autonomous Vehicle Task Force for six months of operations. Data collected on usage and operability will be shared between project partners to improve future deployments and bring autonomous services into wider usage.

“We are pleased that our CityNOW stakeholder alignment process is resulting in yet another transformational industry ‘first’,” said Jarrett Wendt, Executive Vice President Panasonic Corporation of North America. “Together with the City and County of Denver, Denver International Airport, RTD, L.C. Fulenwider, and EasyMile we continue to produce groundbreaking advancements that none of us could accomplish on our own.”

EasyMile says its shuttle and operating system have been tested and verified over 200,000 miles in 22 counties, and have transported over 320,000 people with no accidents or injuries. The shuttles have air conditioning, automatic wheelchair ramps, passenger information systems, electric batteries, and onboard USB chargers. Passenger feedback on all of these deployments has been extremely positive.

Transdev and EasyMile have partnered on over 50 deployments covering more than 10,000 passenger trips in the US. Globally, Transdev has provided over 2,000,000 fully autonomous passenger trips in the past 10 years, and works with several vehicle and software system providers to design and implement fully integrated autonomous mobility solutions.

“EasyMile is proud to be deploying our EZ10 as an integrated part of the RTD transit system. Driverless technology is a key part of our future transit systems and we thank RTD for their leadership and vision,” said Sharad Agarwal, Senior Vice President of EasyMile North America.

More information about the Route 61AV project is at

Sidewalks Throughout Denver

Beginning in mid-August, the city of Denver will implement a new Neighborhood Sidewalk Repair Program which will ultimately include our CCHN area. Although no firm timetable is in place, CCHN inspection will be the second citywide area of the program to be addressed. Per city ordinance, property owners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalks adjacent to their properties. In order to assess existing sidewalks that present a hazard to public travel, the city will perform formal inspections to determine sidewalks, citywide, that are damaged, uneven, or sloping excessively. Denver Public Works (DPW) will contact property owners of the required repairs mandating repair work begin 45 days after home notices are left and mailed notices are issued. This repair program will not address missing sidewalks or gaps in sidewalks which is dealt with by Denver’s Sidewalk Gap Program.

To begin the repair process, property owners may choose a DPW contractor to do repairs based on cost estimates provided or can hire their own preferred contractor. Ultimately, DPW will re-inspect all properties to determine if issues have been adequately corrected. Nancy Kuhn, DPW Director of the Public Information Office, indicates homeowners in historic designated districts like CCHN will not encounter additional city approvals to fix their sidewalk problems. Financial assistance will be provided to homeowners who qualify.

Sidewalk repair options include patching with grout or epoxy to fill cracks, gaps or holes, mud jacking to repair tilted slabs to level the grade of the sidewalk, and grinding/shaving repair to remove a portion of the elevated slab. In some cases, sidewalk hazard situations will require partial or full replacement. Particular challenges may be faced by property owners with flagstone sidewalks due to cost and limited contractor expertise issues. Regarding healthy mature trees with roots lifting up sidewalks, the DPW supports finding creative solutions with the property owners, including arborist opinions, to remedy walking hazards.

Information about the Neighborhood Sidewalk Repair Program can be found HERE.

By Alice Anneberg

Fix-A-Flat Bike Repair Pilot Program

When you ride your bike, there’s nothing worse than being away from home and getting a flat tire or needing to make an adjustment to your bike and not having the tools to get you back on the road. Or, you notice a malfunction before you even leave the house and you don’t have the tools you need. Whether you’re en route or just without tools, the Denver Public Library, in collaboration with the Denver Community Active Living Coalition, is providing bicycle repair kits at seven library branch locations beginning May 22 for short-term check-out:
Athmar Park
Sam Gary
Schlessman Family

Kits can be checked out for up to two hours on-site (at the library) and are available free with your Denver Public Library card. Don’t have a card? Don’t worry! Staff can get you signed up instantly.
Each kit contains basic tools to repair tires or make adjustments to your ride:
1 dual-valve pump with pressure gauge for inflating tires
1 set of allen wrenches for minor adjustments
1 adjustable wrench for minor adjustments
1 set of tire levers to remove/replace a tire
Tube patches, sandpaper and glue for patching a hole in a tube
Illustrated instructions (English and Spanish) for fixing a flat tire

You can find more information about the toolkits at the DenverCALC blog and the Denver Public Library blog.
Map of sites: CLICK HERE
Follow @DenverHEAL on Facebook for updates or reach out to with any questions at

Kayla Gilbert
Built Environment Equity Program Manager
Community Health Division
City and County of Denver, Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE)
Office: 720-865-4948 | Cell: 303-250-0540

The New Carla Madison Recreation Center

Did you know that our area has a new 67,000 square foot, 5 story recreation center with exercise machines and rooms, a climbing wall, basketball court, two pools (including a lazy river and an 8-lane lap pool), a child watching room, and rooftop event space? Denver Parks and Recreation opened its new $44 million facility to much fanfare in January.

Denver voters approved the Denver Better Bond Program in 2007 to enhance and construct facilites that touch the lives of all residents. The facility became the dream of Carla Madison, a local colorful personality, who lost her fight with cancer in 2011 while serving on city council.

Now, The Carla Madison Recreation Center at Colfax and York offers residents an impressive option for health and wellness. For $45 to $332 for an annual membership, residents can enjoy the array of exercise options as well as the benefits of up to 15 different kinds of exercise classes, including various types of yoga, cycling and even dance classes. There are also day passes available.

The LEED Gold certified facility will cheer any visitor with its bright colors and large windows that connect the indoor indoor space with the sunny Colorado outdoors.

The exercise machines face west, providing inspirational views of the mountains. Also, the center boasts Colorado’s first recreation center climbing wall, which resides outdoors and stands 30 feet tall. In keeping with Carla’s vision, there are activities for all ages.

Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday 5:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Friday 5:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Noise Complaint Procedures

Many neighbors are concerned about the potential noise pollution from the new hotels and restaurants in Cherry Creek North. If the noise becomes an issue there are specific steps you can take to have the issue investigated. If the noise occurs between the hours of 7am to 8pm Monday through Friday, or 8am to 5pm on the weekends, please call 311. If the noise occurs outside of those hours, please call the Denver Police non-emergency number: 720-913-2000.

Developing and Preserving the Character of Colfax

By Wayne New

On June 2nd the first Colfax stakeholder meeting was held to discuss and plan the re-development of the 15 mile length of Colfax Avenue in conjunction with the first implementation of the bus rapid transit (BRT) system. Led by the City’s Community Planning and Development, this discussion included over 70 attendees representing City departments, Colfax business improvement district leaders, developers, architects, and neighborhood and professional representatives. The meeting’s primary focus was to identify and address present and future limitations and obstacles to development. The key issues were:

1) Zoning – The present main street zoning will need to be evaluated to enable properties to be more productive and to enhance pedestrian and retail streetscape amenities. This may include vacating some alley sections to accommodate the existing depth of some lot and to create a safer environment.

2) Streetscape Planning – Activating sidewalks will bring greater life and vitality to the street and support the unique character and landmarks in many Colfax areas. Attractive, inviting patios and specialty retail will increase retail business from tourists, local residents, and other visitors.

3) Traffic Management – The objective of BRT is to reduce the number of cars and traffic on our streets. Presently, Colfax has three lanes going east and west – two travel lanes and one parking lane on each side. To implement BRT one of the travel lanes will be dedicated to these BRT buses only during peak hours in order to balance and manage the traffic and parking for businesses on this busy street.

4) Affordable Housing – The lack of affordable housing is one of the City’s most important issues, and the re- development of Colfax and implementing transit should encourage affordable housing construction. The Mayor will be asking for approval on a $150 million, 10 year plan to provide greater financial assistance to developers for affordable housing.

5) Homeless and Public Safety – The City is striving to improve its efforts and programs to reduce our homeless population and to provide greater safety and security for our residents, businesses, and tourists. Issues to improve public safety on Colfax are as follows:
a. Housing – Since Colfax has a significant homeless population, increasing emergency and transitional housing will be a priority for Colfax development and safety improvement, as it is recognized nationally that these are some of the elements that can help break the cycle of homelessness.
b. Police Presence – Increased police patrols and visibility will help homeless individuals reach supportive services, and will create a safer environment for businesses and the public by combating drug sales and use, as well as deterring crime. Public safety is key to success.
c. Mental Health Support – Mental health support workers are now riding with the police to assist with the growing number of homeless with mental health issues.
d. Lighting – According to Chief of Police Robert White, an effective safety improvement is to illuminate high crime areas on streets and in alleys. Funding has been requested for this high intensity lighting on Colfax similar to the new lighting implemented on the 16th Street Mall.

6. Connectivity – The Colfax BRT implementation plan does not include Colfax from the Auraria Campus to Sheridan Boulevard to the west nor to the east from Yosemite to the I-225 light rail station. Transit network connectivity is a major factor in our City’s transportation strategic planning.

7. DURA and TIF – Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) assistance is being sought to develop specific blighted Colfax sites and larger areas on East Colfax. By using the incremental increase in property and retail taxes to offset new construction financial cost, retail and affordable housing development is promoted.

8. State Highway or City Street – Planning and improving Colfax is more difficult since the street is classified as a State highway, requiring State approval with many changes, which begs the question: should Colfax be designated as only a City street and not a State highway?

9. Parking – Parking has been the most frequent discussion topic for businesses and neighborhoods. Maintaining street parking spaces was the influencing factor on the decision to use a Colfax travel lane rather than parking lane for BRT use.
Garages – Providing parking flexibility will be an important incentive for affordable housing construction. In many cities the shared use and cost of parking garages in suitable locations has provided increased commercial and resident parking and offset new development parking requirements. Shared parking will complement transit and minimize neighborhood parking and traffic concerns.

10. Improving Colfax has been a long term desire and dream that needs to become reality. For this goal to be achieved, it will require cooperative planning and assistance from all City agencies; developer and neighborhood support; and capital improvement financing. Re-developing and preserving Colfax can and will be accomplished with all of us working together to create an exciting and productive street for our businesses and residents to live, work, and play.

Neighborhood Hot Button Topic: Windows!

Window restoration and/or replacement was one of the most discussed items on our neighborhood survey last fall. Windows are to any house as the eyes are to a face, and therefore give it character. New windows not properly designed to match a home’s era can be spotted by even the untrained eye. The Landmark Preservation guidelines stress the importance of preserving a house’s original windows. With the appropriate weather stripping and sealing, historic windows can be very close in weather efficiency to new ones. There are a few companies in town that do great restoration work (e.g. Phoenix Restoration and Lyons Historic Window).

If one of your original windows is beyond all repair, you can apply to the CCHN Design Review for permission to replace it. With the proper documentation stating the window’s irreversible state, you will be able to help get
your house the care it needs.

Beautification Committee Updates

The beautification committees is responsible for planting and weeding the urns on the north side of 1st Avenue, the gardens at Race Circle and 3rd and Race, and the borders in front of the walls on High, Gilpin and Franklin Streets. All the annuals will be planted in the coming weeks and will be a mix of hardy species in colors to attract desirable pollinators!

New hedges of Green Velvet boxwood were planted earlier this month at the corners of Gaylord and Race, and will provide a more well-defined entrance into the neighborhood.

Xavier Banuelos and his crew have been doing the planting and maintenance for the past five years. Denver Parks & Recreation is responsible for mowing, wee control, watering and tree care in all of our medians. The committee works closely with the city to keep our landscapes attractive and healthy year round.

Summer 2016 General News

Urn & Gate Cleaning

If you walk by our iconic gates and welcoming urns, you have probably
noticed that they were in desperate need of cleaning and repair.
After bidding out the job to several companies, Rocky Mountain Hot Jetting
services completed the cleaning work on all 29 planters recently as well as the
gates, for a total of $1,500.

We will have several companies assess the gates and secure bids for the any
repairs that are needed to maintain the integrity of these historic structures.

Street Repaving Has Begun

As you have likely noticed, street paving has begun in our neighborhood. The city has not provided a timeline at this point, so please be patient and look forward to having nice, newly paved roads!

For weekly updates on the paving schedule, and to see future projects
in the works, you can visit

4th of July Parade

Please join us for the annual CCHN 4th of July Parade. We will gather at
9:30am at 4th and Franklin. This year the Crepe Gatsby will be servicing sweet and savory crepes, as well as coffee. There will also be balloon twisting and air brushed tattoos for the kids. Don’t forget to wear your most festive Independence Day attire! Bike, stroller, and wagon decorations are encouraged!

A History of The Country Club Gates

Easily the most noticeable landmarks in our neighborhood, and arguably throughout the city, the gates on 4th Ave many of us drive through every day add to the charm and history of our historic neighborhood.

The Fourth Avenue Realty Company hired well-known Denver architect William Ellsworth Fisher to plat the Country Club Place into three wide streets. Each street was to have a parkway down the center, and each would have a distinctive entrance gate along 4th Avenue. The most elaborate gate was built on Franklin Street, which was the entryway to the Denver Country Club until 1957 when it moved to Gilpin Street.

The Franklin Street gate spans the entire street. A 10 by 24 foot wooden platform with sloping, tiled roof with exposed rafters covers the entrance. Supporting this are two large, square, paneled stone columns that connect on either side to Mission-style arches over each of the sidewalks. The gates at Gilpin and High Streets do not cover the whole street but stand as pillars on each side, connecting with the sidewalk
arches. There was originally a four-foot wall along 4th Avenue connecting these gates but it’s been broken up over the years by homeowners.

The gates are a classic example of Spanish architecture with the stucco base and red tile tops. While Fisher designed many buildings in a variety of architectural styles through Denver, many speculate he chose this style because he believed it encouraged a community spirit. Perhaps it is also because Denver and Madrid lie on almost the same longitudinal line, a mere 5,000 miles apart.

You may have noticed that our historic gates are in need of repair. The repairs of these gates are a priority for the CCHN board. We will provide more information on the restoration process in coming months, as well as opportunities to help fund this cause.

2015 CCHN Neighborhood Survey Results

Late last year we asked you to share your thoughts regarding two important areas: general feedback about the board, and capital needs in the neighborhood. Thank you to everyone who participated. Your opinions are invaluable to the current and future state of our neighborhood. Without further adieu, here are the results.

Most Important Issues to Residents (listed in order of importance):
• Improve communication around how CCHN spends its budget, neighborhood activities, issues outside the neighborhood in surrounding areas, CCH Design Review Committee, relationship between neighborhood and city capital needs.
• Increase in security hours
• Beautification of the neighborhood, which includes flowers and maintenance of medians
• Repairs to the historic gates
• Adding and improving street lighting
• Concerns over snow removal
• Repair and repave current sidewalks
• Increasing the amount of current sidewalks
• Traffic Safety
• Street repair

Next Steps
The CCHN Board has discussed the survey results and agreed upon priorities for 2016. Capital needs priorities will be broken into two phases. Phase 1 includes historic gate repair, security review, beautification of the neighborhood, and snow removal options. Phase 2 may include street lighting, sidewalk repair and sidewalk expansion. Because many of these items will require additional funding, the board will determine funding options for capital needs and other improvements. The CCHN Board has also identified a communication strategy, which we have detailed for you below.

Fourth and Gilpin Intersection

In April, Public Works will begin a long-planned reconstruction of the Fourth Avenue and Gilpin Street intersection. Fourth Avenue will be narrowed to 35 feet from its current width of more than 60 feet. This will be accomplished by building a series of three narrow east-west oriented islands, leaving the driving lanes on the south edge of the current curb and creating a one-way westbound driving and parking access at the north side of the present intersection. The present stop sign on eastbound Fourth Avenue will be moved east to align with southbound Gilpin Street. A stop sign will be added as southbound Williams Avenue bends west to Fourth Avenue.

Public Works will fund the bulk of this project, paying $43,300. Remaining allocated city moneys of former Councilwoman Jeanne Robb’s budget, $24,000, will cover the balance of the work. CCHN and Driving Park neighborhoods will be responsible for maintenance of the urns. Detailed drawings can be found at