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Walnut Street Corridor Improvements

 

The vibrant neighborhoods of RiNo and North Denver are growing more popular every day, with more people driving, walking, and biking through the area to enjoy restaurants, shopping, and new residential developments. The Walnut Street Corridor Improvement project, headed by Denver Public Works and the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative (NDCC) will begin to organize the street to better accommodate pedestrians and parking between Broadway and 36th Street.

Walnut Street has few sidewalks or defined parking areas along this stretch of the corridor. This can create confusion where pedestrians and bicycles are sharing travel lanes with moving vehicles and unmarked parking spaces. Commercial trucks also regularly block the roadway, causing unpredictable shifts in traffic flow.


Phase 2 — 2017–2018

The city launched a full study of traffic conditions to determine the complete needs for Walnut Street along this stretch, including a possible two-way conversion. The study considered residential and commercial demand on the roadway as well as future development.

Update: July 2019

Read the final study report (PDF - 18MB)

Designs for signing, striping, and signal improvements in support of the two-way conversion are underway and could be implemented as early as Fall 2020, in conjunction with with planned repaving efforts.

 
Project Status: Study Complete

Phase 1 improvements were installed in Summer of 2017. Following the completion of the Phase 2 study, Denver Public Works and the NDCC are working to identify funding to convert Walnut Street to two-way travel between Broadway and Downing with updated signage and restriping, in order to quickly meet safety needs.

The long-term recommendations of the study call for rebuilding the corridor from Broadway to 36th Street, including sidewalks, curbs and gutters. 

 

Goals

  • Improve existing conditions within the current public right of way
  • Create clear expectations for how cars, trucks, and pedestrians should share the roadway
  • Study potential longer term enhancements and two-way configuration

current conditions on Walnut Street, with road work, commercial vehicles, and parked cars

 

Phase 2: 2017–2018

Evaluate the current and future conditions of Walnut Street, including future developments along the corridor, to determine the feasibility of converting Walnut Street from a one-way to a two-way street.

November 2017 Open House

February 2018 Open House

May 2018 Open House

Materials

Why is the conversion of Walnut Street to two-way being studied?

Converting Walnut Street from a one-way street to a two-way street was identified in the Northeast Downtown Neighborhoods Plan (NEDN) to help improve connectivity in the River North neighborhood. The NEDN Plan|Next Steps Study recommended further study of the corridor.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and costs associated with converting Walnut Street to a two-way configuration. The study will review operational, parking, and pedestrian changes that may be required to convert the roadway. During the study the City will also engage the public for input on the project and goals for the corridor.

When will the conversion of Walnut Street to two-way take place?

The conversion of Walnut Street is not currently identified in the City’s annual capital improvements program. This initial study will be completed in the summer of 2018 to better understand the changes necessary to achieve a two-way street and the timing for implementation. The study will also develop examples of a typical two-way roadway that could be constructed with development along the corridor.

How much will reconstructing Walnut Street cost?

The two-way conversion of Walnut Street is currently not funded. The current study will provide a cost estimate for the conversion so that the City can begin to identify funding.

Phase 1: 2016–2017

Install “curb stops” to define parking and walking spaces from Broadway to 36th Street. These dividers are similar to the concrete blocks cars park against in parking lots. They are typically rectangular in shape and made of hard plastic or other material.

Final Plan Set - Walnut Street, Broadway to Downing Street (PDF)

January 2017 - 60% plans (PDF)

December 2016: Made in RiNo Holiday Fair

January 2017 Open House

April 2017 Open House
Open House Meeting Boards (PDF - 11MB)

What about sidewalks?

Phase I will not build curb, gutter, or sidewalks. These full improvements will be considered in Phase II's future design recommendation. 

How will the curb stops work?

The curb stops define space for people to walk and prevent cars from entering areas designated for pedestrians. They will also help direct drivers to appropriate parking spaces without obstructing traffic.

When will the conversion of Walnut Street to two-way take place?

The city will begin to study the potential to convert Walnut Street to two-way operations in late Spring 2017. This study will help us understand the changes necessary to achieve a two-way street.

Additionally, the study will provide a cost estimate for the conversion, so the city can begin to identify funding. The two-way conversion of Walnut Street is currently not funded.