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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.

 

Two-Way Signing, Striping, and Signal Design - 2020

Walnut Street in the River North community has a new look and feel to help calm traffic and improve circulation in the area! In conjunction with recent repaving efforts, Denver’s Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI) converted a stretch of the corridor between Broadway and Downing from one-way to two-way travel. The conversion creates a safer street that reduces vehicle speeds, improves circulation for people walking, biking and driving, and better defines parking and loading zones.

In addition, DOTI has also installed a new traffic signal at the Broadway intersection to help facilitate safer crossings for people walking and riding bikes. Later this fall, crews will be back on the corridor to convert all parking on this stretch of Walnut Street to parallel parking. And early next year, an evaluation will be conducted to determine where new traffic control and crosswalks will be placed.

Community Open House - March 5, 2020

River North Brewery - Blake Street Taproom (3400 Blake Street)

On March 5, 2020, DOTI and the Walnut Street team held a public meeting at River North Brewery to provide to and gather information from the community about the proposed conversion of Walnut St to two-way operation as identified in many local planning documents. There were 48 attendees from the general public. A previous meeting was held for invited stakeholders from local businesses and organizations. The meeting was an open house format with stations for attendees to talk with project team members. Boards with project background, project area/existing conditions, and additional study locations (via dot exercise) were available for discussion/input. No presentation took place, but comment cards were provided to attendees. The input provided is summarized in the Community Open House Summary in the link below.

Community Open House Summary (PDF)


 
 
Project Status: Two-Way Conversion Complete

The two-way conversion was implemented September 2020 in order to quickly meet safety and operational needs.

The long-term recommendations of the Walnut Street Two-Way Conversion Study (Phase 2, linked below) call for rebuilding the corridor from Broadway to 36th Street, including sidewalks, curbs and gutters.

September

September 2020 conditions on Walnut Street, with completed road work, vehicles, and repaved roadway 

 

Phase 2: 2017–2019

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.

Two-Way Converstion Study - July 2019

The city conducted 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.

Read the final study (PDF - 18MB)

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.