The Denver internet was very minorly ablaze last week — a teacup-sized fire, I’d say — over the idea that Brighton Boulevard might be renamed to “North Broadway North,” which met widespread derision as an extremely redundant name.
Now we may have a better explanation of where the idea of a name change really started — and it’s still not looking like “North Broadway North” is in serious contention.
It started when Westword reported, on anonymous sources, that “city officials” including Mayor Michael Hancock wanted to make the change.
I checked with spokespeople for Hancock and the city’s North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative. Both said that the conversation about a rename was driven by the community, rather than the city, and that they had never heard of “North Broadway North.”
As it turns out, the idea of changing the street came up at a recent meeting in the area.
“It got brought up by me,” said Bernard Hurley, the developer behind Hurley Place. “I think that rebranding Brighton Boulevard is a good idea.”
He raised the question in February before the board of the River North General Improvement District, a miniature government body that gets to spend special taxes that are collected in RiNo.
According to the meeting minutes, he suggested the name “North Broadway,” basically just extending the name of the road that turns into Brighton.
Here, like this:
Hurley is a member of the GID’s board of directors, which means that he gets some say on how it spends its revenues of about $600,000 a year.
So, I guess you could call Hurley a “city official,” in the sense he does some official stuff that’s affiliated with the city. However, he denies that the mayor had anything to do with the suggestion.
“People have been talking about it, so I just thought I’d bring it up at the GID meeting,” he said. “I haven’t talked to the mayor about it.”
The GID board hasn’t formally voted on the idea, so we don’t really know how they feel about it as a whole.
Another idea that came up at the meeting was “River North Boulevard,” as suggested by board member Anne Hayes, according to the minutes.
“It’s kind of mixed,” Hurley said.
To make matters even more confusing, the name “Broadway North” is also in circulation. In fact, Hurley likes that combination too, and the city spokespeople said it was the idea that they’d heard too.
So, in summary: The name “North Broadway,” has been formally discussed by an influential group. “Broadway North” also enjoys some popularity.
Regardless, any move to change the name would go through a formal public process, according to the city. An individual or group could request a change of the street name, at which point there’d be a drive for signatures in support of the request.
And, with all that said, I will try to never say the syllables “NoBroNo” again.
P.S. It’s called Brighton Boulevard because it eventually goes to the city of Brighton, which was itself named for Brighton Beach, N.Y.