Lincoln Transit & Safety Improvements

Building on the feedback received during a study conducted in 2015 to improve travel on the Broadway and Lincoln corridors, Denver's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) coordinated with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) on incorporating transit improvements along Lincoln Street from Ohio Avenue (by the Broadway Station) to 5th Avenue to support more reliable transit service.  In addition, DOTI is also rolling out safety enhancements that aim to calm traffic and make Lincoln a safer street for all users, particularly pedestrians.

Moving More People, More Efficiently with Transit

DOTI upgraded the dedicated transit-only lane on Lincoln Street with new striping and signage to extend its hours on weekdays during peak travel times (6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.). These extended hours will reduce the time it takes to get through downtown on transit and make transit a more convenient option. Outside of those hours, (mid-day, overnight, and on weekends) new signage indicates that the lane will revert to a parking lane.

In addition, in a first for the city, DOTI also installed paint and bollards to make the transit-only lane protected at the intersection of 13th Avenue to separate buses from vehicles and reduce conflicts.

Traffic Calming Treatments to Reduce Conflicts Between People Driving and Walking

In addition to the transit lane enhancements, DOTI also added various safety treatments aligning with Denver’s Vision Zero Program to make this stretch of Lincoln Street safer and more comfortable for people on foot and to help reduce fatal and serious injury crashes. Improvements vary from intersection to intersection based on need and include:

  • Bollards and paint to shorten crossing distances for people on foot and to slow vehicle turning movements
  • Rubber curbing on Ellsworth Avenue and on Virginia Avenue at Lincoln Street to slow vehicle turning movements.
  • Pulling back on-street parking at the intersections of Cedar, 1st, and 4th Avenues to help make pedestrians easier to see at crosswalks.
  • Refreshing crosswalk and stop bar markings, so they are more visible
  • On weekends and during overnight hours, converting a travel lane into a parking lane on the west side of Lincoln from Ohio to 5th Avenues. Parked vehicles will help visually narrow the roadway along this stretch to slow vehicle speeds and create a buffer between people on foot and in cars to reduce potential conflicts. 

During the 2020-2021 winter season, DOTI added leading pedestrian intervals at signalized intersections to give those walking a “head start” to cross the street and re-timed the traffic signals to slow and calm vehicle traffic.  

How will these improvements improve transit conditions?

Afternoon and evening buses currently spend approximately 35% of their trip between I-25 and Broadway Station and 7th Avenue stopped in traffic. By providing buses with their own dedicated lane, this delay shrinks, and allows for more reliable transit for the entire Broadway-Lincoln corridor, as many buses quickly turn around at Union Station/Civic Center Station and make a return trip to I-25 and Broadway.

Similar improvements on Broadway in 2017 resulted in faster travel times and a ridership increase.

Will these improvements remove or consolidate any bus stops?

No RTD stops or services will be removed or consolidated as part of the City’s effort.

Can vehicles enter the transit-only lane?

Vehicles are only permitted to enter the transit lane to make right turns to access adjacent streets, parking, and driveways.

How was transit evaluated along Lincoln in the past?

In 2017, DOTI studied the effectiveness of adding red pavement markings and new signage to the existing 24-hour transit lane on Lincoln Street from 6th to 14th Avenues to see if it would help better define the dedicated space for transit and prevent vehicle thru-traffic from entering the transit lane.  During the study, DOTI observed that the enhancements helped improve transit service times along this stretch of Lincoln and people in cars were more aware of the dedicated transit lane.