What is the Dustin Redd Playground?

The Dustin Redd Playground is the play area at the west end of City Park, near Duck Lake.  Erected in 1996, it was built in an old-fashioned community barn-raising by Denver volunteers using a design from Leathers and Associates, and funded by Phil Long.  The playground is /reflective-essay-outline/ named for a boy who drowned in Ferril Lake in the summer of 1996.

Why is Dustin Redd in disrepair?

Dustin Redd playground consists of a largely wood framework with kinetic elements connected by chains and bolts.  Its maintenance has been neglected and many of its kinetic pieces have been allowed to become unusable.  Every time a chain, bolt, or piece of wood failed, rather than replacing it, the City simply removed the element or boarded it off.

What is City Loop?

City Loop is the proposed 13-acre, $5,000,000 Attraction the City plans to replace Dustin Redd Playground.

Is City Loop a playground?

No.  City Loop is intended to become “one of Denver’s most vibrant civic will provide you with spaces” with kiosks, food trucks, comfort stations, water features, and more.

What is a playground?

A playground is an area designed specifically for child-focused play and discovery.

What are some alternatives to City Loop?

1. Repair or Renovate Dustin Redd playground.  See an example of how a similar playground was renovated in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada.

2.  Replace Dustin Redd playground with a play area of similar size and scope.  New ideas for playgrounds include natural-themed elements for child-centered discovery.

Why don’t citizens have a vote on City Loop?

The control of City Park resides wholly within the executive branch of Denver City government.  City Council used to control disposition of parks, but with the passage of Denver’s 2010 Zoning Code, City Council gave parks control to the Mayor.

What about the Parks and Rec Advisory Board?

This is a group of individuals appointed by City Council members, the Mayor, and Denver Public Schools:  each Council member has 1 appointee, the Mayor has 5, and Denver Schools has 1.  Issues are presented in a controlled forum, with limited direct input from citizens at meetings.  The board, in our opinion, represents political theater.  Its vote carries no force, and it is ignored when its recommendations are counter to the City’s plans.  When two of the Mayor’s representatives recently voted contrary to his wishes on the Hentzell Park issue, he replaced them.  In the past, other PRAB members, whose votes were perhaps more favorable to city interests, have subsequently found employment in the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation.

How will City Loop be paid for?

City Loop will be purchased by commercial sponsors, further reducing transparency and any influence by Denver’s citizens.

What is the relationship between City Loop and the planned Rec Center at Colfax and Josephine?

There is none.  The Rec Center was approved by vote of Denver citizens in 2007. City Loop is wholly a project of the Denver Department of Parks and Recreation.

How will City Loop be maintained, if we can’t maintain Dustin Redd?

That’s a great question.  The City has offered no plan and no budget for maintaining City Loop.

How will parking for City Loop be addressed?

That’s another great question, for which the City has offered no plan.  The most complete answer we’ve been given is,

The comment about parking challenges be an insurmountable issue is just in reference to, that there will always be challenges related to parking in City Park [sic]  With two world class cultural facilities and  one of the most beautiful parks in the country, people will always want to visit and hold events in City Park. It is as simple as that.”

If the City does nothing, then we expect City Loop visitor cars will fill neighborhood streets in the 20 blocks of City Park West adjacent to it.  If the City  builds a 300-car parking lot inside the park, they’ll need to take another 2.4 acres of City Park green space.

How will City Park West be affected by City Loop?

City Park West, a quiet residential neighborhood, will be the single most impacted neighborhood.  It is directly adjacent to City Loop, intended to be “one of Denver’s most vibrant civic spaces.”  We don’t have a plan from the City, but here are some impacts we can expect.

1. Parking.  Nearly every home in City Park West uses residential streets to park at least one vehicle.  With no plan for parking, City Loop users will park on City Park West’s streets.  To accommodate 300 additional cars supporting 1,000 City Loop visitors, City Park West will see 20 blocks filled. Will permitted neighborhood parking be required to enable residents to park near their homes?

2.  Traffic.  The City has not provided a traffic study for Events at City Loop, intended to be a “most vibrant civic space,” but we know that the intersections of 23rd and York, 21st and York, and 17th and York will certainly by stressed, as will 23rd Avenue, York, 17th, and our neighborhood streets.

3.  Noise.  How about those concerts right there near 21st and York?

4. Crime.  Will City Loop and its incessant crowds bring more crime to our neighborhood?  It seems a natural result of having so many people in the area and parked on our streets.

5.  Lights.  Architects’ plans show large light fixtures throughout City Loop.  Will they be on all night for security?

How will other City Park neighborhoods be affected by City Loop – Park Hill, South City Park, City Park North, Whittier?

The City has provided no planning information, but we can expect these neighborhoods will also be affected by increased parking, traffic, and crime.

How will City Loop impact the environment, with manmade materials covering green space?

We don’t know.  The Architects’ plans emphasize how many people will use the space and the “tubes, pods, and clusters.”  They don’t seem too interested in nature.

How will City Loop be policed?  How will gang activity, homeless, child predators be kept out of such a large space?

The City has not offered a plan for policing City Loop.  The Architects’ plans do call for staffed Comfort Stations for the convenience of visiting families.

How can I let Denver city government know what I want for City Park?

We suggest you join us.  Take our survey, join our letter campaign.
In addition, you can:

1.  Write a letter to the editor of the Denver Post, Westword, or your neighborhood newspaper telling them you oppose City Loop.

2.  Contact your Registered Neighborhood Organization (RNO) and tell them to stop City Loop.

3. Write or phone the Mayor’s office (Mayor Hancock, telephone 720-865-9000) and your City Council representative and tell them to stop City Loop.