ACTION ALERT: Show your support for Vision Zero and Transit on South Lincoln!

by Jessica Vargas on October 21, 2019

Dedicated transit lane on Broadway. Picture: NACTO

Provide input online and at an October 23rd Open House!

Most of the streets in Denver’s “High Injury Network” – the 5% of streets where 50% of traffic fatalities happen – are major arterials like Lincoln and Broadway that carry high volumes of traffic every day. Designed to move as many cars as fast as possible, these streets are especially hostile and dangerous for anyone not in a car. We can’t achieve Denver’s Vision Zero goal to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030 without focusing attention on these streets, and the best way to make arterial streets safer while still moving a lot of people is to shift the percent of people who choose to use modes other than driving their personal vehicles.  

Transit is one of the safest forms of travel, and redesigning our streets to prioritize buses will make streets safer for everyone. By moving more people in a smaller amount of space, dedicated bus lanes allow public space previously allocated for cars to be repurposed for people walking and biking, as well as trees, public seating, art, and other amenities that can transform highway-style arterials into people-friendly streets. Data from cities across the world show that dedicated bus lanes decrease transit travel times and increase reliability, which in turn leads to increased transit ridership. 

WalkDenver and our fellow members of the Denver Streets Partnership are therefore thrilled that Denver Public Works is making exactly these types of improvements on Broadway and Lincoln. In 2017, the City converted existing, part-time transit lanes on Broadway (17th Ave to Exposition Ave) and portions of Lincoln (6th to 14th Ave) to 24-hour transit-only lanes, resulting in travel time savings and increased ridership along this corridor.

Now the City is looking to expand the dedicated transit lanes further south on Lincoln, between Broadway Station and 7th Avenue, and is inviting input on several different design options.

Of the four options put forth by Denver Public Works, “Option C” below would do the most to improve both transit service and safety on Lincoln. By adding both a 24-hour bus lane on the east side of the street and on-street parking on the west side, this design reduces the number of “general purpose” travel lanes down to just two (from a maximum of four), reinforcing safe driving speeds and shortening the crossing distance for pedestrians. The parked cars also create a buffer between the sidewalk and vehicular traffic, increasing comfort for people walking.

Option C could be further improved by making the on-street parking 24 hours (rather than 7 pm to 7 am), so that residents and visitors on the corridor can enjoy the safety benefits of fewer travel lanes at all times of day, not just overnight.  24-hour parking would also allow curb extensions to be added to the intersections on the west side of the street, creating even more space for pedestrians and streetscaping.

Curb extensions not only shorten crossing distances, but create space for green infrastructure or other placemaking elements. Picture: NACTO

These proposed changes are a quick and inexpensive way for Denver to improve safety and move people more efficiently on Lincoln. Be sure to weigh in on which option you think is best for the corridor, by taking the online survey and/or attending the public open house on October 23! 

Public Open House: October 23, 2019

4:00 – 7:00pm

Hirschfeld Towers, 333 W. Ellsworth Ave.

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