In anticipation of the new commuter rail opening in 2016, Denver Public Works has installed some near-term improvements to prioritize the pedestrian environment in front of Union Station, and reduce conflict between the varying converging uses.
The focus area of the project is Wynkoop Street from 16th Street to 18th Street. Particular attention will be paid to improving the intersection while maintaining the Station’s distinctive character and pedestrian entry to the station.
These efforts are providing rapid-phased solutions that prioritize pedestrian safety in front of Union Station in Downtown Denver. Phased solutions began with the anticipated influx of ridership at the opening of RTD's commuter rail A Line in April of 2016.
Improvements outside Union Station at the intersection of Wynkoop & 17th Street
The ability to move people on bicycles safely on Wynkoop remains a high priority and Denver Public Works will study possible reconfigurations of the bike lane between the Cherry Creek Trail and 20th Avenue to meet operational needs of Union Station while also reducing conflict between people on bicycles and people in vehicles.
Wynkoop Street is slated to be repaved in the 2017 paving season; this provides an opportunity to reconfigure the bike lane at that time to further improve the street function for all modes. The City will work with stakeholders once a draft concept is available in early 2017 and will then take the concept out for public outreach.
DPW is considering any of the available tools for bike facilities that are available from the Denver Moves: Bicycles Program, and will determine which facility types or combination of facilities are possible for this street based on signal constraints, right0of-way widths, etc.
Union Station serves both as a regional transportation hub, and as a destination within itself. As the various modes of transportation converge with all the diverse activities of Union Station including taxi, hotel, valet, passenger drop-off, etc., new challenges have presented themselves. These include a lack of bicycle-parking, illegal u-turns, parking in non-parking zones, conflicts occurring in the bike lane, and with the intersection at 17th and Wynkoop.
In November of 2015, Denver Public Works hosted a workshop facilitated by AECOM to evaluate alternatives to improve how various transportation modes intervene around Union Station, and on Wynkoop Street. The goal was to develop alternatives that prioritizes pedestrians in front of the Station on Wynkoop Street—both operationally, and physically. The results from the workshop were further refined and presented to multiple stakeholders for feedback.
As part of the planning process to develop best practices, operational characterizes of transportation hubs similar to Union Station were reviewed. This included both international and national examples.
Construction was completed in April of 2016. The initial near-term efforts are being evaluated and will be adjusted as necessary in later summer.
While intention of the Wynkoop Rapid Implementation Plan is to install near-term improvements to the pedestrian environment in front of Union Station, these changes, as well as opportunities for further improvements will continue to be considered over the next year.
In addition, the City is in the planning process of the long-term design vision for Wynkoop Street.