The City and County of Denver is transforming a stretch of Bannock Street from 14th Avenue to Colfax Avenue into a versatile public gathering space that people on foot and on bikes can enjoy year-round and experience as a new gateway to Civic Center Park.
Bannock Street, which borders Denver’s iconic Civic Center Park has primarily served to move vehicle traffic for many years. Now, the goal is to bring Bannock Street itself into prominence, as a space to be enjoyed and celebrated, and serve as the front porch of Denver City Hall.
The Bannock Street Project is located between 14th Ave and Colfax Avenue.
The Bannock Street Project is unfolding in two phases. On April 21, 2020, as part of Phase 1, Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) closed Bannock Street between Colfax Ave and 14th Avenue to vehicle traffic and installed a colorful street mural.
Phase 1 Concept
The concept illustrations below show how Bannock could appear day to day and during a special event during Phase 1. Planters with trees and a colorful street mural have been added to the center of Bannock Street, flanked by bike lanes and existing sidewalk areas.
Vehicle access to Civic Center Park and the parking lot behind the McNichols Buildings is maintained to support activities that occur at McNichols and in the park.
Phase 2 Concept
The long-term vision for how Bannock Street will look and operate will be determined through a public planning process that will kick off in 2020. Below are some conceptual drawings.
How many trees in planters are you adding to Bannock Street?
Approximately two dozen trees in planters will be added to Bannock Street.
How will you keep people in vehicles from turning onto Bannock?
DOTI is finalizing design of a treatment that will be used to prevent vehicles from entering the public gathering space.
Will special events still happen along Bannock Street?
Yes, Bannock Street is a very popular event space and it will continue to host public events. When no events are scheduled, it will be a public gathering space, open to all.
With Bannock closed to vehicle traffic, how will I get around the area?
The city tested an extended closure of the block more than two years ago and observed travel patterns could be effectively maintained. When Bannock Street closes, Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure will implement a previously tested traffic configuration on 14th Street that maintains left and right turn lanes from 14th Street onto Colfax.
People in cars can use alternative routes to get around the area, including Colfax Avenue, North Broadway, Cherokee Street and 14th Avenue.
Who is creating the street mural?
Pat Milbery and artists from Access Gallery are creating the mural. The City is finalizing the design of the street mural and will share it publicly when it’s complete.
How will these changes to Bannock be funded?
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) and Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) are utilizing 2020 general fund dollars for Bannock Street Phase 1 improvements and the Phase 2 planning effort.
All parking will be removed from Bannock Street, including twelve metered parking spaces. The two accessible parking spaces on Bannock Street will move to the south side of the City and County Building on 14th Street between Bannock and Cherokee. Press parking will be permitted in an existing loading zone on Cherokee Street behind the City and County Building.
The public has additional parking options a short distance from the City and County Building.
There will continue to be bike lanes in both directions on Bannock. With the removal of parking, the bike lane on the west side of Bannock will move closer to the curb. Planters will further delineate the bike lane from the walking and gathering areas. These improvements will improve bicyclist safety and comfort through the area.
Bannock Street will close to vehicle traffic on April 21, 2020. It is anticipated to reopen as a public gathering space following installation of a colorful street mural. Installation of the mural is currently underway.
Jay Decker, Transportation & Innovation Manager