The difficulty of crossing Colfax

Colfax is Denver's signature strip. It was built for cars, not for pedestrians.

Colfax is Denver's signature strip.

But, it was built for cars, not for pedestrians. Just try crossing it.

"It's scary….you don't want to get hit," said Lovonia.

She will tell you rush hour is actually all 24 on Colfax when you're on two feet.

"They're so far in between," she said.

She's talking about the distance between marked crosswalks or the distance between curbs.

"Right here we're crossing four lanes of traffic, one lane of left turns and two lanes of parking. So that's seven lanes…that's basically 70 feet," said Frank Locantore.

It's estimated about 20 thousand cars travel this stretch of Colfax each day. 75 thousand people live within a 10 minute walk of Colfax in Denver. And Denver Police say four pedestrians lost their lives in crashes here in 2015 and 2016. And none of them were at fault.

That concerns Locantore and the people he represents: the businesses along Colfax trying to draw in foot traffic.

"You have destinations on each side of the street that people want to get to and not a safe way to cross and people are going to naturally take the safest way to make that crossing," said Locantore.

He is the leader of the Colfax Business Improvement district, one of four districts along Colfax pushing the city for funds through bonds.

"What we're looking for is $20 million for eight miles of Colfax," he explained,

The money would help build sidewalk bulbs in parking lanes at intersections to give pedestrians a little less road to cross.

It would also build median refuges for pedestrians if they aren't mobile enough to make it across the street before the light changes.

City leaders will have to weigh-in on the funding then take it to voters in the fall.

But perhaps down the road, it might help people like Lovonia.

"What are we supposed to do, walk around the whole block?" she asked.
 
And on a street known for hustling, it could mean one fewer definition for the word.

 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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