Santa Fe Streetscape Improvements

Summer 2023 Update

The Santa Fe Streetscape project is moving forward! The Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) will work over the next 18 months to create a final design for the full reconstruction of Santa Fe Drive between 6th Ave and 13th Ave. Your feedback will be critical to ensuring the success of this project! Please watch this space for more updates, or email to be added to our mailing list and receive updates.

Denver's Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI) will transform a stretch of Santa Fe Drive between 6th and Colfax Avenues into a safer street that aims to enhance the experience for people who walk the corridor, which is home of the Art District on Santa Fe, a popular destination for residents and visitors. For over two years, DOTI collaborated with the community to create a new street design for Santa Fe Drive within the Art District that will enhance safety for all users and pedestrians, in particular.

Safety treatments being implemented along the corridor from 6th to Colfax Avenues include:

  • Reconfiguring Santa Fe from three travel lanes to two to calm traffic and reduce vehicle speeds; the reconfiguration will center the vehicle travel lanes and add a five-foot buffer between the on-street parking spaces and existing sidewalk to provide people with more space and comfort to walk.
  • Using bollards and paint at intersections to shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians
  • New signage to dedicate left turn lanes at the intersections of 6th, 7th, 8th, and 11th Avenues to accommodate traffic flow
  • Adding two “parklets” adjacent to the sidewalk to provide a place for people to sit and gather
  • New bike racks to provide people on bikes/scooters dedicated places to park and reduce conflicts with pedestrians on the sidewalk
  • Realigning bus stops for better placement and spacing to make bus travel more efficient
  • More seating, planters, and lighting enhancements to improve pedestrian visibility, safety and comfort

Additionally, in late October, local artists Jennifer Chaparro, Alexi High, and Bimmer Torres will paint street murals to further enhance the uniqueness of the Santa Fe corridor along the new placemaking buffer for pedestrians at the intersections of 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 12th Avenues. 

DOTI will evaluate the streetscape treatments to determine a longer-term vision for the corridor.

Construction Update

Installation of the streetscape improvements along Santa Fe has begun! Below is the installation schedule (weather permitting):

  • Sept. 28 - Oct. 29 — Crews begin the installation of the core streetscape design - removal of current lane markings, new striping, and vertical safety elements.
  • Oct. 30 - Nov. 20 — Artists install street murals on Santa: Fe at 7th Ave., mid-block 8th Ave., 9th Ave. intersection, mid-block 10th,  and 12th Ave. intersection.
  • Nov. 23-27 — Crew installs placemaking elements (parklets, planters, and benches)

While work is underway, there will be lane closures and parking restrictions between 6th and 14th Avenues.

Spring 2020 Updates

Engineering Update

The DOTI Project Team is finalizing the engineering design plans and coordinating with the 13th / 14th Avenues Protected Bike Lane project team (also scheduled for installation this summer) on overlapping design and installation schedule. The Team continues to work with the Santa Fe Business Improvement District (BID) Board on finalizing streetscape elements We will provide you with an update if there are any changes to our schedule.

Artist Placemaking

In our Winter 2020 update, we informed you that our Santa Fe Streetscape Artist Committee selected three local artist who will enhance Santa Fe Drive with their artistic talents in three buffer areas within the project boundary. Below is a bit more information on who they are. Please visit their websites or social media pages to learn more about them.

  • Alexi High - Alexi is a fourth generation Denverite born and raised on the west side within what would later become the Santa Fe Art District. He currently keeps a studio at the Artists on Santa Fe building and creates work in clay and mixed media. Alexi's work is abstract and contemporary and incorporates industrial and architectural themes.
photo of Sante Fe Streetscape artwork done by Alexi High
  • Amazing Street Painting - Jennifer's work shows a unique talent for capturing faces and expressions. By working to duplicate the colors and shading of the original art, Jennifer creates stunning pieces. Her 3D anamorphic art allows users to interact with the art piece and has been commissioned all over the world.
photo of Sante Fe Streetscape artwork done by Amazing Street Painting
  • Bimmer Torres - Denver-born street artist Bimmer Torres has created iconic, site-specific art throughout Denver. He specializes in aerosol paint and the use of other mediums to add profound but meticulous aesthetic depth to his work. He likes to entice the curious minds and challenge perspectives through his visually, colorful work.

photo of Sante Fe Streetscape artwork done by Blimmer Torres

Fall 2019 Updates

The project team is continuing work to develop conceptual design and meet the goal of installing the pilot project in 2020, meeting several important milestones in summer 2019. 

August First Friday: The project team joined with stakeholders, the surrounding community and other volunteers to highlight the streetscape enhancements envisioned for the Santa Fe Corridor to make the street more pedestrian friendly. The pop-up demonstration utilized materials such as duct tape, artificial grass, flowers, trees, spray chalk paint, stencils, tables, and chairs to transform the north half of the 800 block of Santa Fe Drive into a space that provided additional space for pedestrians. 

Sante Fe Streetscape Setup (Timelapse video - YouTube)

Santa Fe Streetscape Pop-up (Timelapse video - YouTube)

Through this outreach effort, the project team estimates that 500 to 750 individuals provided important feedback for the Santa Fe project.  Thank you to everyone who participated in the pop-up demonstration!

Traffic Analysis: A micro-traffic simulation analysis is underway and will help clarify the impact of the lane reduction on future traffic on Santa Fe and the surrounding neighborhoods with an emphasis on ensuring transit service along the corridor is reliable and on-time. The project team anticipates providing the findings from the micro-traffic simulation in late 2019. 

Call for Artists: As part of the Santa Fe Streetscape Project, funding was set aside to support a local artist(s) in developing and installing public artwork as a complement to the proposed streetscape improvements. The first committee meeting for the call-for-artists was held on August 22, 2019. As this process moves forward, updates will be provided online and to the Stakeholder Committee.

March 2019 Updates

After two project stakeholder meetings and two pop-up public meetings, the community has identified a preferred streetscape design for Santa Fe to enhance safety and mobility for all modes of transportation, improve and enhance the pedestrian experience, and strengthen the Santa Fe business community.

Sante Fe Streetscape Preferred Streetscape Redesign(JPG, 884KB)

The preferred alternative for the Santa Fe corridor creates programmable pedestrian space within the existing public right-of-way and maintains parking access to the businesses along the Santa Fe corridor.  

Current data gathered and analyzed by the project consultant team supports the preferred alternative outlined above. Vehicle counts performed shows that Santa Fe has a strong AM peak for one hour a day.  The rest of the time, the roadway does not see congestion.

The project team has been requested to perform additional traffic modeling and analysis to better assess the impact of the lane reduction along the corridor, with a specific focus on the impacts to transit travel time reliability and intersection delay at 8th Avenue. This additional modeling provides the chance to also gather existing pedestrian and bicycle utilization and model the impact on those modes.

With the request for additional data collection and modeling, we are now targeting the implementation of the pilot project for Spring 2020. This change in schedule will allow the project team to put more emphasis on the design of the new pedestrian realm and individualize each block according to the creative needs and designs of our businesses and residents, while establishing a thoughtful maintenance arrangement.

Santa Fe Streetscape Design Study

Sante Fe Streetscape Preferred Streetscape Redesign