Rail stations in Denver have experienced varied and sporadic development activity over the last decade. TOD has occurred as expected at some stations but failed to materialize at others. This may not be surprising once one begins to examine the wide array of stations in Denver, all with different market conditions, infrastructure needs and existing land use patterns while also having very different existing and aspirational TOD characteristics. Since Denver stations do not fit into a one-size fits all category, this plan sets out to establish a stronger understanding of the variables currently impacting station areas and to formulate an updated TOD action plan.
The project team developed a methodology to evaluate TOD readiness which helped categorize stations into three logical groupings with similar challenges and opportunities for TOD. Much of the TOD evaluation utilized a 10-minute walkshed instead of the standard half-mile radius to create a more accurate snapshot of each station area. Even though each station in the evaluation lands in a specific group, the status of each station is not considered static, instead, each station should be perceived to be on a TOD development continuum. Each group of stations has a tool kit to guide planning, policy, and infrastructure decisions and each station receives specific action items to advance development at stations. The intention of each set of station recommendations is to be actively moving the station forward on the continuum.
This action plan lays out a strategic approach to implementing TOD in Denver over the next six years. As with most communities, Denver is dealing with limited resources to implement public improvements to help attract development around rail stations. The grouping of stations in a logical order assists in identifying key action items for each station, including the most realistic and efficient opportunities to provide city resources at stations with the greatest opportunity for near-term development.