Southeast Denver was developed around the automobile, and is divided by two interstate freeways (I-25 & I-225) and two state highways (Hampden & Colorado). These major roads make it difficult for pedestrians, motorists, cyclists and RTD passengers to safely navigate. Some streets do not have sidewalks or safe areas to walk or bike. With four light rail stations, residents should be able to safely walk or bike to transit.
Councilwoman Black is a strong advocate for making our streets safer and more livable. She supports WalkDenver’s goals, including making “Living Streets” walkable, bike-able, safe and community-oriented places that promote active living and economic development. Councilwoman Black met with CDOT and planners to learn more about what can be done to create Living Streets on our busiest southeast Denver streets. Safe walkable and bikeable streets is a stop priority.
Transit Oriented Development (TODs) around rail stations is part of Denver’s plan to become a world-class city where everyone is part of the community. This concept creates a village around light rail stations where people can conveniently access affordable housing, restaurants and grocery shops, retail stores, and public transit options. With a housing shortfall, high density TOD developments help reduce traffic congestion instead of increasing urban sprawl as Denver continues to grow.
The Yale Station features mixed-income TOD developments. Currently, the Yale Station Apartments provide affordable senior housing. In construction are the Garden Court Apartments- affordable family/workforce housing-that will open in July. Residents will receive an eco-pass to take advantage of public transit. The current wait list for rooms is over 300 applicants. Also, a new 112-unit apartment building at 5101 E. Yale will break ground in 2018.
The Belleview Station
The Belleview Station has two apartment buildings: The MileHouse with 352 units and The Den with 325 units. Four stores have opened with more restaurants and high-end amenities planned in the future. A 15-story office building will open this fall.
The Colorado Center is a centrally located TOD with businesses, housing and entertainment options. The planned additions include an energy efficient 15-story building office space with 5 floors of parking, a residential tower containing 260 apartments, and 40,000 square feet of Main Street retail and restaurants. The southeast corner of Evans & Colorado is likely to be redeveloped as part of the Colorado Center TOD in the coming years. Developers are considering options.
Near Hampden and Monaco, the Southmoor Station is in a centrally located community but is underutilized. There are several apartments nearby but lack convenient access to the light rail.
Yale Ave Improvements
Denver Public Works is working with Arapahoe County to design and fund improvements on Yale Ave. from I-25 to Monaco. Plans include adding a crosswalk near the Yale Station, widening the lanes to improve traffic flow, adding more turn lanes and repaving the corridor. Improved traffic signals will move traffic more efficiently through the bottleneck at Holly/Yale. Pedestrian and cyclist accessibility will be helped by better crossings and sidewalk improvements. The project is in the design phase and construction may start in 2018. Councilwoman Black is advocating for the replacement of the High Line Canal bridge at Holly & Yale and for the construction of a underpass for pedestrians and bikes.
Ramp construction in compliance with ADA federal law will continue in southeast neighborhoods and will be completed in 2017. Refer to the weekly construction update at denvergov.org/adaramps to track ADA ramp construction in your neighborhood and to learn more about the process. You can also call the Hotline at 720-460-9055. Work will continue through the summer in the Wellshire/University Hills area.
The High Line Canal and the Wellshire Golf Course
Denver Water owns the High Line Canal which has long been used for water delivery. It is inefficient with 70% of Canal water lost through seepage and evaporation. Denver Water is transitioning its customers—like the Wellshire Golf Course—off of the Canal. A new irrigation system will be installed at Wellshire using potable water.
High Line trail users will be able to get from Denver to Cherry Hills via two tunnels funded by DRCOG. One tunnel will go under Colorado Boulevard from Magna Carta Park to Wellshire. The other will take trail-users from Wellshire, under Hampden, to the trail on the south side of Hampden. Construction will start in 2018.
Thank you to the 350 southeast Denver residents who attended our April meeting. The High Line Canal Conservancy has been holding community meetings this summer. You are invited to help create a vision for the High Line Canal by attending meetings on September 7 and 8, and October 19 and 20. Visit highlinecanal.org for more information.