With the Delta variant surging, Denver has issued new public health orders requiring pre-K through 12th-grade students to wear masks at school and requiring city employees and some private-sector workers in high-risk settings to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
With restrictions around public gatherings lifted, more indoor and outdoor recreational spaces open for use again, and an uptick in travel expected with kids headed back to school, Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) is transitioning to a new phase of its shared streets program launched in April 2020 during the pandemic.
The temporary shared streets program designated streets during the public health crisis where people could safely walk, roll and recreate while maintaining some distance from one another. Areas prioritized for shared streets were those with greater population densities, where adjacent parks were seeing significant use and reaching capacity, and areas of the city without immediate access to a park or trail.
With social distancing no longer required, DOTI is ending its temporary shared streets initiative and, recognizing the popularity of the shared street concept, is launching a planning effort toward the end of 2021 to develop guidelines around what a permanent shared streets program would look like for Denver.
Development of guidelines around a permanent program will include a community engagement process that gathers feedback on the temporary program and explores and answers critical questions the emergency initiative did not, including:
Starting the week of August 16, residents will see some changes along the seven stretches of roadway that were part of the temporary program. DOTI will remove shared street signage and people should go back to walking on the sidewalk. Treatments that aim to slow vehicles and make travel by bike more comfortable will be permanently added to five of the seven stretches, with timelines as follows:
If you have questions about Shared Streets, please contact DOTI.firstname.lastname@example.org.