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Quality of Life Plans

Golden is dedicated to creating a resident-centric, vibrant, healthy, and inclusive community. This section of the website is dedicated to ways city staff are working to enhance that quality of life, starting with noise mitigation efforts around the City and expanding beyond.

Golden’s quality of life initiatives are designed with you in mind. Learn more about these efforts.

Lookout Mountain
  • Topic: Noise and speed issues on Lookout Mountain.
  • Reason: Address long-standing noise and speed issues affecting residents along Lookout Mountain Road which sits in both Golden and Jefferson County.
  • Intended Outcome: Implement traffic calming measures and reduce noise pollution.
  • Public Meetings: Formed a working group including various stakeholders.
  • Initiatives:
    • Noise Notification System: Implemented in 2016 but later removed due to unintended consequences.
    • Traffic Calming: Speed bumps added in 2017, with mixed reactions from residents.
  • Outcome: Jefferson County initiated a community outreach effort that resulted in a decision to close Lookout Mountain Road at night. Refer to the Jeffco decision memo for more details.
Muffler Noise
  • Topic: Muffler noise from vehicles, especially trucks.
  • Reason: Address noise pollution and quality-of-life concerns for residents.
  • Intended Outcomes: Reduce noise from muffler brakes (Jake brakes) and enforce proper muffler usage.
  • Public Meetings:
    • First Meeting: February 24, 2016, with high attendance.
  • Ordinances:
    • Ordinance 2073: Prohibits muffler brakes within Golden. Signs posted at city entry points. Officers initially focused on education and gave a 6-month notice before enforcing.
  • State Regulation: CDOT advised that Golden cannot prohibit muffler brakes due to safety concerns. Signs on Highway 58 indicate fines for vehicles without muffler brakes, but enforcement is challenging without proper inspection equipment.
  • Legislative Efforts: Former City Councilor Casey Brown is working on legislation to require emission testing for working mufflers and to make non-compliance a primary offense.
  • Outcome: PD can inspect mufflers on motorcycles and cars, but not semi-trucks due to visibility issues. Jake brakes cannot be regulated as they serve a safety function.
  • Contact: Marcus Williams for more details.
Noise Enforcement Radar Technology
  • Topic: Noise enforcement radar technology.
  • Reason: To address noise pollution from vehicles.
  • Intended Outcomes: To reduce noise by implementing technology that captures images of the vehicle, driver, and noise level, then issues a ticket. This technology operates similarly to photo radar and red-light cameras.
  • Public Meetings:
    • First Meeting: April 12, 2022. Technology is still under development and cost-prohibitive.
    • Second Meeting: February 27, 2024. Other U.S. and Colorado agencies are using the technology. Golden will review their results next year.
  • Legislation Efforts: According to CML and Representative Teton, local jurisdictions can implement these systems without new legislation.
  • Contact: Marcus Williams for more details.
Highway Noise Mitigation – Berms and Walls
  • Topic: Mitigating highway noise through berms and walls.
  • Reason: Reduce noise pollution from highways affecting nearby residents.
  • Intended Outcome: Design and construct noise barriers and berms.
  • Public Meetings:
    • First Meeting: A meeting was held in October 2023 to gather resident input on noise issues which resulted in a request to gather more data. Data was collected in November 2023 on noise, traffic volume, and vehicle speed by Coffman Engineering.
    • Second Meeting: A report was presented to City Council in February 2024 and $1M has been allocated for the remainder of the 2024 calendar year to initiate berm and wall installation.
  • Initiatives:
    • Noise wall design and construction on the north side of SH-58, west of Washington Ave.
    • Evaluation and potential design of a wall on the south side of SH-58.
    • Berm construction on the east side of SH-93, south of Pine Ridge Road.
    • Reallocating local construction dirt for new berms and repairing slumping berms.
  • Outcomes: Design of a noise wall on the north side of SH58 is in progress - 100% design is anticipated by the end of the year. Data collection for other locations is ongoing. 
Legislative Update
  • Topic: Legislative efforts to address vehicle noise issues.
  • Reason: Develop effective legislation to reduce noise pollution from vehicles.
  • Testimony: August 21, 2023, Former Councilor Casey Brown and CML representative testified at the TLRC. The proposed legislation did not advance.
  • Collaborative Efforts: Ongoing work with CDPHE, Colorado Motor Carriers Association, truck mechanics, CDOT, CSP, and other partners to develop effective legislation.
  • Outcomes: Casey Brown continues to lead the efforts to find impactful solutions for truck noise.
Traffic, Transportation & Mobility
20 is Plenty
  • Reason: Reduce the potential harm caused from speeding vehicles on residential streets.
  • Intended Outcomes: Increase public safety by mitigating injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents.
  • Public Meetings:
    • First Meeting: July 2022, The Mobility and Transportation Advisory Board (MTAB) met in regular session to discuss 20 is Plenty which unanimously supported the initiative. 
    • Second Meeting: July 2023, a comprehensive memorandum was presented at City Council for 1st reading and followed by a public hearing.  Council approved the initiative in conjunction with photo radar. 
    • Numerous articles, social media, and news stories related to 20 is Plenty were posted between July of 2022 to date.
  • Legislation Efforts: There were no State required legislative efforts required for the 20 is Plenty initiative.  In July 2023 Council approved a change by ordinance to reduce the prima facia speed limit in residential neighborhoods from 25 mph to 20 mph. 
  • Outcome: To be determined
  • Next steps: The 20 Plenty initiative is a long-term project that uses photo radar, police officer traffic enforcement, education, and traffic mitigation efforts. These are all at differing levels depending on the residential street, availability of the photo radar van, and call load for officer enforcement. 
  • Contact: Commander Mark Donohue 303-384-8053 or Commander Marcus Williams 303-384-8116
Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility
  • Reason: The City is working to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety by upgrading our sidewalks to be ADA-compliant, connecting gaps in our sidewalk network, improving intersection safety by adding crosswalks and Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB), and upgrading our bicycle facilities (with collision trends) to have either a buffer or physical protection.
  • Intended Outcomes: The goal of these improvements is to eliminate bicycle and pedestrian fatalities and serious collisions by 2035.
  • Public Meetings: There are several opportunities for public engagement throughout the summer
Photo Radar
  • Reason: Reduce the potential harm caused from speeding vehicles on residential streets. 
  • Intended Outcomes: Increase public safety by mitigating the number of speeding vehicles in neighborhoods and reducing the potential for auto/pedestrian accidents causing injury and/or death.  
  • Public Meetings:
    • First Meeting: April 2022, study session with City Council regarding analysis of automated traffic enforcement devices.  Council directed staff to move forward with photo radar as an option for consideration. 
    • Second Meeting: July 2022, study session with City Council regarding the potential to implement photo radar.  Council directed staff to move forward.
    • Third Meeting: July 2023, a comprehensive memorandum and ordinance was presented to City Council on 1st reading and followed by a public hearing. Council approved the initiative and ordinance. 
    • Numerous articles, social media, and news stories related to 20 is Plenty were posted between July of 2022 to date.
  • Legislation Efforts: No State legislative efforts were required, Colorado Revised Statutes outline the legal requirements for these systems.  City Council did approve Ordinance 2215 for automated vehicle identification systems.
  • Outcome: The photo radar vehicle was purchased, staff trained, and the vehicle has been fully implemented.   
  • Next steps: Continued use of the photo radar vehicle in identified locations for speed mitigation. 
  • Contact: Commander Mark Donohue 303-384-8053 or Commander Marcus Williams 303-384-8116
Neighborhood Speed Management
  • Reason: To address longstanding concerns of speeding vehicles on neighborhood streets with the overall intent to improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians as well as to improve the liveability of neighborhoods. 
  • Intended Outcomes: Design and construct vehicle speed reduction measures on neighborhood streets in accordance with adopted municipal code and manuals. See Golden Municipal Code section 11.40.
  • Public Meetings:
    • Area neighbors will be notified.
  • Initiatives: Design and implementation of vehicle speed reduction elements on various neighborhood streets to reduce vehicle speed and thereby improve safety and live-ability of neighborhood streets.  
  • Outcomes: Consensus among area residents and city staff on the speed reduction elements and design for vehicle speed reduction infrastructure on the affected street section.
  • Next Steps:
    • Implementation of the speed reduction infrastructure elements agreed upon in the initial neighborhood meeting.
    • Commencement of the public engagement effort for the next prioritized neighborhood street under the criteria set forth in Golden Municipal Code Section 11.40. 
  • Contact: Joe Puhr
Traffic Signal Controller Upgrades
  • Reason: Current signal controllers are outdated and not only are they difficult to use and troubleshoot, they lack the latest technology and capability to better manage traffic and pedestrians.
  • Intended Outcomes: This new equipment will allow signals to be linked to each other, can be programmed to allow leading pedestrian intervals and bike detection, and can have multiple signal timing configurations, all of which will greatly improve safety and efficiency around the large summer traffic volumes.
  • Public Meetings: None. However, MTAB previously reviewed and recommended the upgrade to Council.
  • Outcome: The upgraded equipment will have the impact of improving safety and efficiency for all modes of transportation.
  • Next Steps: Public Works is currently working with CDOT to utilize grant funding for the purchase of the equipment. Traffic signal controller upgrades for 10 City signals is expected to be completed summer 2024.
  • Contact: Joe Puhr
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