Renovating Denver’s 16th Street Mall

The 16th Street Mall in Denver, with its busy sidewalk cafes and free shuttle buses, opened in 1982. It’s considered one of the most successful pedestrian malls in the country. But it’s showing its age. Many of the mall’s granite pavers—especially in the bus lanes—are cracked and chipped, and their once-bright colors have faded. The nonprofit Downtown Denver Partnership has been looking into how be st to renovate and maintain the mall. One option called for moving westbound shuttle-bus traffic to 15th Street. Another would have shifted both bus lanes to one side of 16th Street. Now, the Partnership wants the city to keep the mall as it is but make it easier for people to use and to fix those granite pavers.

John Desmond has been involved in finding the best way to spruce up the 16th Street Mall. He’s vice president of planning and environment for the Downtown Denver Partnership.