The Denver Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI) will construct improvements on West Colfax between Sheridan and Irving Streets to benefit the overall safety of pedestrians. Additionally, improvements will be added to benefit the speed and reliability of transit service on the corridor.
West Colfax Avenue was identified as a part of the high-injury network in the Vision Zero Action Plan. The high-injury network contains corridors with the highest percentage or serious injuries or fatal crashes. The pedestrian safety improvements are aimed at reducing crashes on the corridor and improving safety.
Examples of pedestrian crossing improvements
Examples of transit improvements
The street currently has two travel lanes in either direction, with a center turn-lane, and one lane for parking that is staggered along the north and south sides of Colfax.
The preferred alternative recommends a series of physical changes to the roadway including medians and curb extensions or bulbouts.
Medians can benefit pedestrian safety by providing a waiting area to cross, decrease crossing distance, reduce conflicts with turning vehicles, and provide a traffic calming effect.
Pedestrian bulbouts improve safety by decreasing crossing distance, slowing down turning movements, and also create a traffic calming effect.
The improvements on West Colfax will reduce delay for people riding transit by consolidating and relocating stops at key locations, the addition of special signals called Transit Signal Priority (TSP), and queue jumps that allow transit buses to have priority at intersections. Additionally, curb extensions called bus-bulb outs can provide more space for waiting passengers, increase safety, and further reduce delay for transit vehicles.
Managing vehicle turns is a strategy to increase safety for pedestrians and reduce conflicts. By reducing the number of turning movements, the number of potential conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians is also reduced. As a result of the median designs left turns will be restricted at non signalized intersections, meaning that people driving may need to drive one or two additional blocks to reach their destination.
Overall, the number of on-street parking spaces would increase on West Colfax based on the preferred alternative as a result of adding bulb outs and removing the center turn lane in select locations. The side of the street where parking is provided (north versus south) may change with respect to the design.
Public input is vital to making decisions that are in the best overall interest of the community. The project team will continue to implement a proactive public outreach program designed to be responsive to feedback from the community. Additional information will be available online.
A community task force group met during the planning phase of the project, to expand the objectives defined in the Elevate Denver Bond program, inform initial design concepts, and review the preferred alternative.
In 2017, Denver voters approved funds through the Elevate Denver Bond Program to be used to make pedestrian crossing improvements to West Colfax, as well as improving the efficiency and reliability of transit along the corridor.
West Colfax has been identified in the Vision Zero Action Plan (PDF) as part of the high-injury network. West Colfax is also considered a high-ridership corridor with more than 6,000 daily weekday RTD riders.
Council Districts: 1 and 3
Neighborhood: West Colfax
Contact: Riley LaMie, AICP
Denver DOTI, Senior City Planner