Reimagining West Colfax: From Demonstration to Long-Term Changes

by Jill Locantore on December 17, 2015


New report [PDF] offers recommendations for making West Colfax better for people on foot and on bike.

Article by WalkDenver intern Kevin Carder

The Reimagine West Colfax Celebration on August 16th, 2015 was tremendously successful in demonstrating street design elements that could transform West Colfax from a dangerous speedway for cars into a safe, economically vibrant, and livable street for all users. The event was a one-day pop-up demonstration on the block of Colfax between Tennyson and Utica that included temporary enhanced crosswalks, median refuges, wider sidewalks, parklets, street trees/landscaping, and several types of bike infrastructure. Community feedback provided during the event was overwhelmingly positive, and it underscored the huge demand for a more family-friendly, business-friendly West Colfax.

20150816_091112Chalk boards were just one of the ways community members provided feedback at the Reimagine West Colfax Celebration.

However, Reimagine West Colfax was more than just a one-day demonstration. It was the result of months of data collection, community meetings, and collaboration between many partner organizations, neighborhood residents, business owners, donors, and others. Hopefully, the positive momentum and excitement generated by Reimagine West Colfax will drive efforts to implement physical improvements on the West Colfax corridor. The West Colfax Business Improvement District (WCBID) is already actively pursuing some of these improvements, but, ultimately, it will require cooperation and action by the City and CDOT to implement design solutions that would truly make Colfax into the more safe, livable street that it has the potential to be be.

15.06.26 West Colfax CharretteRepresentatives of Denver Public Works, CDOT, RTD, and private consulting firms helped design the Reimagine West Colfax demonstration.

To that end, WalkDenver, PlaceMatters, and the WCBID are publishing the Reimagine West Colfax Final Report [PDF] and sharing it with the City, CDOT, and the public. The report provides an overview of the data collected and community feedback received before and during the event, and, based on that data and feedback, offers recommendations for improving West Colfax Ave in the long term. The report also identifies three priority intersections that are most urgently in need of improvements. These include Colfax and Lowell Blvd, Colfax and Utica St, and Colfax and Knox Ct. Other recommendations include:

  • Installing street trees and landscaping along the entire corridor
  • Installing traffic-calming at Colfax and Irving
  • Constructing median-island refuges where feasible
  • Constructing bulb-outs (curb extensions at intersections) where feasible
  • Adding new and improving existing bike facilities in the vicinity
  • Pursuing design alternatives for the Colfax/Federal interchange
  • Adjusting signal timing to give pedestrians priority
  • Studying feasibility of expanding sidewalks
  • Studying options to improve utilization, distribution, and quantity of on-street parking

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 3.24.55 PMA rare instance of a landscaped median and street trees along West Colfax adjacent to the new Renaissance West End Lofts

For a more detailed explanation of the recommendations, as well as a summary of the existing conditions analysis and community feedback that informed these recommendations, please consult the Reimagine West Colfax Final Report [PDF]. WalkDenver and our partners greatly appreciate any feedback on the report, and we encourage you to contact Denver Public Works and express your desire for a safer, better, reimagined West Colfax!

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