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Colfax Corridor Connections

The Colfax Corridor Connections project is studying potential long-term mobility improvements for East Colfax Avenue to enhance and revitalize this signature corridor.

Colfax Avenue has long been a key east-west transportation route for Downtown Denver, Auraria Campus, Anschutz Medical Campus and nearly 50 schools — it is also a thriving community, with retail, nightlife and residential development creating a "Main Street" feel along one of the area's oldest, most historic streets.

With population and business growth in the area expected to increase significantly in the next 20 years, there is an opportunity to reimagine how Colfax functions, looks and feels while accommodating an increasing need for enhanced mobility and safety along the corridor. Through extensive citywide planning efforts and input from the community, the project has identified an updated alternative for dedicated center-running bus rapid transit (BRT) on Colfax Avenue.

The study is being conducted by the City and County of Denver and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and in coordination with the City of Aurora. The project corridor is roughly bounded by I-25 and I-225 on the west and east, respectively, and 20th Avenue and 12th Avenue on the north and south.


Map Colfax Corridor study area between Auraria Campus and Interstate 225

Project Map & Study Boundary | see full-size rendering

Project Goals

The Colfax Corridor Connections study will identify and provide a package of multi-modal transportation improvements to enhance the Colfax Corridor over the next 25 years. 

  • Improve mobility, connectivity, safety, accessibility, & economic viability 
  • Meet current and future person-trip demand 
  • Encourage a shift of auto trips to alternative modes 
  • Interact seamlessly, efficiently, and safely with other transportation corridors, systems, and modes in a fiscally sustainable manner


The study is being conducted by the City and County of Denver and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and in coordination with the City of Aurora. The project corridor is roughly bounded by I-25 and I-225 on the west and east, respectively, and 20th Avenue and 12th Avenue on the north and south.

  • 2012-2015 — Planning, outreach, and initial analysis of corridor needs
  • 2015-2016 — Developed an initial recommendation for a more traditional, side-running BRT system on Colfax and presented to the public for feedback
  • 2016-2017 — Following public input, begin analysis and conceptual designs for center-running BRT in exclusive lanes
  • Summer 2017 — Public outreach 
  • Fall 2017 — Work begins on design and environmental requirements, identifying funding sources
  • 2018-19 — Final design and implementation plan 
  • 2020+ — Construction and opening
Project Status: Study

Colfax Corridor Connections logo

The study began in 2012 and the environmental analysis/conceptual engineering phase will conclude in 2018. The proposed BRT system then must identify funding before final design can be completed. Initial targets anticipate construction could begin no sooner than 2020.

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Project Manager: Ryan Billings

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Project Planning & History

The city's land use and transportation plan, Blueprint Denver (2002), promotes urban design goals that would increase transit service on major corridors and also noted the East Colfax area would see focused future growth and redevelopment.

The 2008 Strategic Transportation Plan identified a need to accommodate a forecast 20-30% increase in person-trip demand in the East Colfax corridor by 2025 without growing “Denver’s road footprint.” It also noted that “about 75% of the traffic in the East Colfax Travel Shed are pass-through trips,” increasing to roughly 78% by 2030.

Denver's 2020 Sustainability Goals and Mobility Action Plan call for reducing trips in single-occupant vehicles (SOVs) to no more than 60% of all commuting trips and promoting transit-oriented development.

Denver’s Colfax Streetcar Feasibility Study, completed in 2010, examined the potential for a streetcar project to accommodate the future person trip demand in the Denver portion of the East Colfax Avenue Corridor. It noted that the four bus transit routes in the study area, currently carrying approximately 30,000 riders per day, make the corridor the highest ridership bus corridor in the Regional Transportation District (RTD) system. The study concluded that a streetcar system was potentially feasible and should be considered in future studies as one option to accommodate future person-trip demand.

The Colfax Corridor Connections study to implement BRT began in June 2012.

The initial Public Scoping phase, completed in Fall 2012, created the list of options for meeting mobility and transit needs in the corridor. 

An initial Alternatives Analysis to explore options for streetcar or bus rapid transit system was completed in 2015. This included an increasingly detailed evaluation of alternatives to eliminate flawed alternatives and identify those that best meet the needs of the corridor with the least environmental impact.

Following the Alternatives Analysis, the team identified a Locally Preferred Alternative, and moved to the Conceptual Engineering/Environmental Analysis phase to present a recommendation for side-running BRT running in exclusive lanes during peak periods in January 2016. Residents, businesses and stakeholders responded with a request to develop a more visionary, comprehensive transit investment.

The Colfax Corridor Connections Community Task Force comprises individuals representing neighborhood organizations and business interests within the corridor. This group provides an important connection between the project team and the community and its input will help inform the process. The Community Task Force is also an important resource for sharing project information with the constituents they represent.

Each of the following organizations has been invited to participate in the Community Task Force program:

Denver Business Groups

  • Colfax Business Improvement District 
  • Colfax On The Hill
  • Downtown Denver Partnership 
  • East High School 
  • The Fax Partnership
  • Points Historical Redevelopment Corporation
  • Santa Fe Drive Redevelopment Corporation

Denver Neighborhood/Community Groups

  • Balustrade HOA
  • Bellvue-Hale Neighborhood Association
  • Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods
  • City Park West Neighborhood Association
  • Civic Center Association
  • Congress Park Neighbors, Inc.
  • Cultural Arts Residential Organization
  • Curtis Park Neighbors
  • Downtown Denver Residents
  • East Montclair Neighborhood Association
  • Golden Triangle Museum District
  • Greater Park Hill Community, Inc.
  • Historic Montclair Community Association
  • La Alma/Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association
  • La Alma Community Action Group
  • Mayfair Neighbors, Inc.
  • Neighbors And Friends For Cheesman Park
  • South City Park Neighborhood Association
  • South Park Hill Neighborhood Organization
  • Sumner Neighborhood Association
  • Swallow Hill Neighborhood Association
  • Triangle Neighborhood Association
  • Unsinkables, Inc.
  • Uptown Alliance
  • Wyman Historic District Neighborhood Association

Aurora Business Groups

  • Aurora Chamber of Commerce
  • Aurora Economic Development Council

Aurora Neighborhood/Community Groups

  • Colfax Community Network
  • Friendly Village Aurora N.O.
  • Hillcrest Village HOA
  • Neighborhood Action Team
  • Northwest Aurora Neighborhood Association
  • Norfolk Glen Neighborhood Association


Corridor Analysis

Bicycle and pedestrian accessibility is a critical component of the Colfax Corridor Connections project. As such, the City and County of Denver, along with our partnering agencies, are identifying short term opportunities for pedestrian and bicycle access improvements that support the larger East Colfax BRT project.

Learn more about Colfax Multimodal Access (PDF)