West Colfax, Successfully Re-imagined

by Jill Locantore on August 20, 2015

Approximately 600 people came to the Re-imagine West Colfax demonstration on August 16 to socialize with neighbors, eat ice cream, drink beer, listen to live music, watch mural painting, play checkers, and most importantly, experience and provide feedback on creative redesigns that would make Colfax more pedestrian, bicycle, and retail friendly.

A survey of participants indicates the top three elements of the temporary demonstration that people would like to see become permanent are wider sidewalks, crosswalks with pedestrian activated signals, and bike lanes on Colfax.  Many people were also enthusiastic about the trees and plants, slower and calmer traffic, and the process of engaging the community in visualizing what a more people-oriented Colfax would look like. When asked what they liked best about the demonstration, one participant noted “the shade, greenery, and wider usable streetscapes. These elements make Colfax feel more walkable and like you could actually spend time here.”

20150816_133929An expanded sidewalk allows room for cafe seating, while trees and plants create a buffer between the sidewalk and the street.

The ideas tested out on Colfax came directly out of the work project partners have done over the past year to assess pedestrian and bicycle conditions along the Colfax Corridor; gather community input on preferred biking and walking destinations and routes, and priorities on redesigns to improve the pedestrian, bicycle and retail environment; and explore those range of possible redesigns with Denver Public Works, CDOT and RTD. We will be sharing the community feedback gathered at the demonstration with these same public agencies, and begin the dialogue about possible permanent changes to the Avenue.

IMG_0168In addition to filling out surveys, attendees shared their ideas on large chalk boards.

Re-imagine West Colfax was made possible by a generous grant from the Gates Family Foundation, as well as a successful crowdfunding campaign donated to by dozens of local residents and businesses. Project partners include the West Colfax Business Improvement District, WalkDenver, PlaceMatters, Radian, and Groundwork Denver.

 

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