BRIGHTON, Colo — A group of political leaders from Adams County began putting pressure on the Regional Transportation District (RTD) Saturday, urging the agency to reinstate a bus stop in front of the Adams County Justice Center.
The group, led by Adams County Commissioner Eva Henry, says it just discovered in recent weeks that RTD stopped using the bus stop in front of the parking lot to the courthouse for the 17th Judicial District. Henry said she and other leaders, including 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian Mason, the public defender's office and the chief judge for the court signed a letter to RTD urging them to reconsider the closure.
"We've really got to understand that most people that go into our courthouses are the poorest members in our community and servicing our courthouse should be a very basic basic service that RTD offers," Henry told 9NEWS on Sunday. "They've been offering it for 10 years. So I'm not sure why they eliminated this stop."
Henry said defendants, victims of crime, witnesses and even jurors depend on the bus to get them to court.
"It is unrealistic - not to mention cruel - to expect a defendant or a crime victim to walk a half mile or more from a distant bus stop to get to the Adams County Courthouse when there is a bus stop right in front of the building," District Attorney Brian Mason posted on Twitter Sunday. "This is about basic access to the justice system."
The transit agency says buses ceased using that bus stop in fall of 2020, when the N Line train began running. A spokeswoman pointed to two nearby stops that still service the courthouse, at Bromley Lane and Tower Road and at Bromley Lane and Medical Center Drive. Each stop is about a half a mile walk to the courthouse.
According to RTD, there was a push to add additional bus service in the area after the opening of the N Line, which led the agency to discontinue the Justice Center stop "to aid operational efficiencies." A spokeswoman said several times that RTD clearly communicated the plan to stakeholders and allowed them the opportunity to comment on it.
“The N Line is 15 miles away from the courthouse so it shouldn’t have any effect at all on the services that Brighton receives,” Henry argued. "You’re just adding one more obstacle in the way of people getting to the courthouse getting to the trial or witnesses showing up.”
The 17th Judicial District returned to in-person trials in March of 2021, after nearly a yearlong pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contact 9NEWS reporter Steve Staeger with tips about this or any story by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Latest from 9NEWS