Is a name change in the works for Brighton Boulevard? It’s up for discussion – but the redundancy of “North Broadway North” is not in the mix, city officials claim.
Instead, they say, the main suggestion right now is simply “Broadway North.”
As you may have noticed, there’s about a mile of construction happening on Brighton Boulevard, where the city is spending $29 million to install bike tracks, sidewalks, trees and more. Alongside accelerating private development, it amounts to quite a makeover for the once-industrial area.
Earlier this week, Alan Prendergast wrote for Westword that all this work might come with a change of names for Brighton, the central avenue for the River North district.
Mayor Michael Hancock, he wrote, “reportedly favors renaming the strip North Broadway North.” This, the author suggested, could end up abbreviated as “NoBroNo.”
“North Broadway North” would certainly be a name. I suppose it makes sense, geographically – it’s just north of North Broadway. But why not just “North Broadway,” or “Broadway North?” (Or North North Broadway, if you’re a bit whimsical?)
I decided I’d try to pin down the city on whether NBN really has been suggested by the mayor.
First response, from Amber Miller, mayoral spokeswoman, via email: “Alan’s story is all hearsay that he wasn’t even in the meeting that he referenced to hear!”
Prendergast, reached for comment, wrote that he was confident in his sourcing.
“Without getting into our sources — or Amber Miller’s notions of what hearsay might be — I can tell you we are confident that the term ‘North Broadway North’ was presented at the meeting in question, and that changing the name of Brighton Boulevard was presented as a priority for the Mayor’s Office,” he wrote in an email.
Miller also sent me over to Leesly León, spokeswoman for the city’s North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative.
“The idea of renaming Brighton Boulevard has come up time and again as many have observed confusion created by the name of the street,” she wrote. (Brighton Boulevard is essentially the same road as Broadway, with no obvious reason for the difference.)
The push to rename was resurrected this time with construction on Brighton and the handover of Broadway from the state to the city, she said.
Following a “community-driven inquiry,” she wrote, the NDCC “is facilitating the process to determine whether or not a renaming effort should be pursued. … There are no foregone conclusions, the outcome will be solely at the discretion of the community’s will,” León wrote.
In other words, the city is indeed thinking about whether to start talking about renaming the road, possibly, if people want to do that.
But what about North Broadway North, I asked?
At present, “the name suggestion that has been floated” is “Broadway North,” she wrote. “We are sure there will be other ideas out there, but NoBroNo is new to us!”
I also asked about whether Hancock was part of the “community” driving the renaming question.
“As I had indicated before, the idea of renaming Brighton Boulevard has been brought up numerous times in the past several years,” León responded. So, no firm answer there.
I asked Miller, the mayor’s spokeswoman, as well.
“The suggestion of renaming Brighton Blvd has come up time and again. I personally remember this topic being brought up at a community roundtable with the Mayor dating as far back at 2011,” she wrote.
“Knowing that this question about Brighton Blvd. comes up time and again, the Mayor appreciates the thoughtful consideration that is underway to determine what is right for the area.”
So, the official city line right now: There’s no formal push to rename Brighton, but there is a conversation, and that conversation is mostly about the name Broadway North. (And Mayor Hancock appreciates that conversation, but I have no idea what he thinks of any of the names..)
In order for the rename to go any further, an individual or group would have to request a change of street name, at which point there’d be a drive for signatures in support of the request.
“There would be ample opportunity for public input,” León wrote.
By the way – Broadway North is less verbally redundant, but I imagine it still could be confusing. “Yeah – head south on Broadway North until you get to North Broadway.”
Know anything else about North Broadway North? Got a better idea? Email me.
This story was updated with Prendergast’s comments.