Feb 27, 2020
DENVER – Today, Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced Denver’s plans to transform a one-block stretch of roadway between the city’s iconic Civic Center Park and City and County Building into a versatile public gathering space and event space that people can enjoy year-round.
The effort will unfold in two phases. On April 21, as part of Phase 1, Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) will close permanently Bannock Street between Colfax Avenue and 14th Avenue to vehicle traffic and reopen the stretch to the public in May when the installation of tree planters and a colorful street mural is complete. The Department will then launch a Phase 2 planning effort involving the community in creating a long-term, permanent vision for this stretch as a place of prominence, enjoyment and celebration.
“As a city working hard to reduce vehicle traffic and expand multi-model transportation – a city that invests in growing and preserving park land – this transformation just makes sense,” Mayor Hancock said. “Bringing our Civic Center up to the steps of the City and County building expands a civic space we are already very proud of into a more welcoming gathering place for generations to come.”
The Bannock project marks a significant milestone in advancing Denver’s Outdoor Downtown Master Plan by expanding its realm of safe, comfortable and inviting parks and public spaces downtown and creating world-class destinations.
“As our city becomes more populated, people are looking for opportunities to experience the outdoor urban lifestyle,” said Happy Haynes, Executive Director of Denver Parks & Recreation. “Bannock will provide a new place for Denverites and visitors to socialize, recreate, celebrate culture and create new traditions.”
The permanent closure of this one-block stretch of Bannock comes more than two years after DOTI tested an extended closure of the block and observed that travel patterns could be effectively maintained. Alternative vehicle travel routes can be found on the city’s website along with more information and conceptual drawings.
“This project prioritizes the people of Denver and our city’s commitment to enhancing the quality of the places where they live, work and play,” said Eulois Cleckley, Executive Director of DOTI. “We can transform the street, keep people moving and accommodate community demand for this space.”
While Bannock will no longer carry vehicle through-traffic, the city will maintain access to the McNichols Building parking lot for those renting the facility. There will also continue to be bike lanes in both directions on Bannock. The city will relocate the two accessible parking spaces on Bannock Street to 14th Avenue on the south side of the City and County Building, and hundreds of parking spaces remain available to people within a short walking distance to City Hall. A map is on the project web page.
During Phase 1 of Bannock’s transformation, the city will relocate amenities it places in the street, as needed, to accommodate special events. The Phase 2 planning effort will define how the space operates in the future on a daily basis and as a venue for larger gatherings.
“Bannock Street is a coveted space for the dozens of special events held in Civic Center Park and the surrounding area every year,” said Katy Strascina, Executive Director of Denver’s Office of Special Events. “We’re excited for this opportunity to improve the aesthetics and the infrastructure, so we can accommodate these events in a more efficient and sustainable way, while also providing an extraordinary space that can be enjoyed by people year-round.”