DENVER - As long as Denver City Council and voters approve, Colfax is about to undergo a transformation.
Denver’s mayor restored a proposal to seek general obligation bonds for pedestrian improvements along eight miles of Colfax, stretching from the Mayfair business district into West Denver.
An executive committee had initially cut the proposed funding from $20 million to $6 million for the stretch of road. But the mayor restored the number to $20 million.
The money will come from general obligation bonds. The city council will approve the final proposals, part of a $937 million package of bonds for citywide improvements.
“I think the Mayor has decided to implement the vision for the Colfax corridor that has been on the books for at least 30 years now,” said Hilarie Portell, executive director of the Colfax Mayfair Business Improvement District. “This funding will build a pedestrian-friendly walkable mixed-use main street for Denver.”
RELATED: The difficulty of crossing Colfax
Colfax was designed as a state highway. The part of the street that stretches through Denver is seven lanes wide: four for traffic, two lanes for parking and a lane for turns or a median. In some areas, you must walk a long way to find a light with a crosswalk where you can cross over. It causes many pedestrians to jaywalk.
Portell says it’s difficult for pedestrians to cross a road that was built for vehicles.
“Maybe we should think about their needs and not just the needs of the vehicles," she says. "I'm not looking for Cherry Creek level finishes. I just need trash cans and street trees."
The funding would build bump-outs in the sidewalk around intersections to entice pedestrians to want to cross there.
The business improvement districts along Colfax want to also use the money to add trees, benches and trash cans.
Voters will have to approve the bonds in November.
The Colfax Mayfair Business Improvement District wants to make this officially a corridor where walkens are welcome.
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