ARVADA, Colo. (KDVR) — Arvada is getting ready to make long-term improvements to Olde Town and city officials want input from people who live, work and visit.

Wednesday evening, Arvada hosted an open house to share a draft plan of its Olde Town strategic reinvestment plan with the community.

“Arvada is a destination, and what we are in charge of as stewards of Olde Town is making it an environment that people want to come,” Ryan Stachelski, director of community and economic development for the City of Arvada, said. 

Pedestrian zones could stay in Olde Town Arvada

One of the main ideas being put forth is to keep the pedestrian zones that were implemented during the pandemic.

“Olde Town changed a lot as a result of the pandemic. We closed some streets and we wanted to make sure that we could accommodate social distancing and help businesses. Well, the community loved it so much that we really wanted to see how can we maintain what is going on but then take it that next step further,” Stachelski said. 

“Pedestrian footpaths in Olde Town is something that we always have been hoping for,” Gavin Estes said. 

Estes runs New Image Brewing Company, which has been operating a brewpub location in Olde Town Arvada for the past seven years.

While he said he is excited about the possibility that improvements to the area will attract new customers, he believes there are logistical challenges that need to be considered too.

“I think directing traffic to the RTD garage could probably be a good thing,” he said. 

Arvada considering Olde Town parking issues

According to Stachelski, street closures have led to increased frustration among visitors over parking.

“Usually the things we hear is being able to park close to the businesses they want to do and then the distances that they may need to walk to be able to get to those businesses,” Stachelski said. 

He said there is plenty of free parking at the Olde Town RTD stop for anyone wishing to visit nearby businesses.

Stachelski said Arvada genuinely wants to know what the community believes works and what does not as it moves forward with its plans. The final project is meant to be the vision for the next 20 years.

Arvada is collecting survey results from the public through April 5. After that, city leaders will collaborate to finalize designs and secure funding. Construction could begin as early as 2024.