What’s your story about walking on Colfax?

by Jill Locantore on July 16, 2015

Submit your video by July 26th to win!

Colfax Frogger cropped

People from all walks of life gather on Colfax, and those of us who frequent the Avenue on foot share at least one thing in common: the game of frogger. Even if you haven’t played yourself, you’ve undoubtedly witnessed others make the mad dash to the yellow-striped “suicide lane” in the middle of the street and then wait for another gap in traffic before finally reaching the other side. It’s a dangerous game – Colfax is a hot spot for pedestrian crashes – but one that’s motivated by desire. People just want to get to all the attractive destinations on the other side of the street. Like all of Denver, Colfax is booming, and in addition to old favorites like the Ogden, Fillmore, and Bluebird Theaters, it seems like every week there is a new restaurant to try or a new place to shop on Colfax. If only we could get there more easily!

Petes Kitchen and Satire LoungeWith it’s status as U.S. Route 40, the history of Colfax is intertwined with the waxing and waning of America’s love affair with the automobile. We will always treasure the menagerie of mid-century neon signs that marked the motels and restaurants that drew road-trippers to Colfax from across the country. But increasingly, visitors and residents along Colfax would just as soon walk, bike, or take transit rather than drive along the Avenue. In fact, the 15 and 15L buses are among the most heavily used in the Denver region’s entire transit system, bringing tens of thousands of people to Colfax each day. The vast majority of these transit riders then walk to their final destination.

Yet the design of Colfax continues to cater to cars. Safe pedestrian crossings are few and far between – hence the daily games of frogger. It’s just human nature. When you can see your final destination right across the street, you’re not inclined to walk several blocks out of your way just to cross at an intersection with a traffic lights and marked crosswalks. Even if you do, the traffic signals are programmed for people in cars, not on foot. Pedestrians typically must wait a long time for the walk signal, and still have to keep an eye out for turning vehicles.

At WalkDenver, we believe that Colfax can and should be a pedestrian paradise. As a non-profit advocacy group dedicated to making Denver the most walkable city in the county, we have a special interest in Denver’s premier Main Street. WalkDenver’s People on Colfax initiative celebrates the “longest wickedest street in America” and its revitalization by partnering with Colfax friends and neighbors to ensure pedestrians are a top priority.

We invite you to join WalkDenver in celebrating Colfax by attending our fundraising gala, “I Walk Colfax” July 30th at the Sie Film Center, and by submitting an entry into the “I Walk Coflax” video contest. Winners will be announced at the Gala. For more information, visit www.walkdenver.org.

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