CDOT Is Trying To Fix Metro Denver’s Most Dangerous Roads

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David Zalubowski/AP
Heavy traffic moves eastbound along Colfax Avenue Monday, July 27, 2020, in Lakewood, Colo.

Colfax Avenue and Federal Boulevard move lots of cars, at high speeds, through areas dense with houses and stores. And both are among the busiest and deadliest streets in Denver, with each seeing dozens of serious injuries and fatalities per year.

"It’s a place where a lot of people and vehicles are interacting, but it’s also a place where a lot of the streets are designed to move cars quickly," said Danny Katz, chair of the Denver Streets Partnership and executive director of the nonprofit CoPIRG.

This week, CDOT and the Denver Regional Council of Governments kickstarted a new effort to change that equation. The department announced it would pay $59 million for 30 safety-focused projects along busy road across the Denver metro region, including Colfax and Federal. Another $18 million will follow later, Katz said.

It's a small sum compared to billion-dollar highway projects, and it's not unusual for the state to spend money on things like sidewalks and crosswalks. But transportation advocates praised the agency's Safer Main Streets program for its focus on pedestrians, cyclists and transit.

"They’re really concentrating these dollars in ways to make the streets safer for people," Katz said. "What’s different about this is it’s a concerted effort."

The projects range from sidewalks in Nederland to a reboot of Colfax Avenue. Most are expected to be completed by 2024.

The full project list includes:

  • $20 million for West Colfax Avenue in Denver and Lakewood, plus parts of East Colfax Avenue, including enhanced crosswalks, lighting, medians and improvements for buses and bikes
  • $7.4 million for Federal Boulevard projects in Denver, including completion of the medians along the length of the road and for pedestrian improvements between West 23rd Avenue and West 27th Avenue
  • $4.8 million for a two-way protected bike lane, loading zones and other changes on Broadway in Denver
  • $4.4 million for protected bike lanes and other changes on Colorado Avenue and 30th Street in Boulder
  • $2.7 million for curbs, gutters, sidewalks and a bike path along Colorado Boulevard near the new N Line station in Commerce City
  • $2.4 million to widen County Line Road in Erie, including a shared use path and sidewalks
  • $2 million for a rebuild of 112th/Uptown Avenue in Broomfield
  • $2 million for bike and safety projects on 120th Avenue in Broomfield
  • Smaller projects in Arapahoe County, Boulder County, Centennial Littleton, Lone Tree, Longmont, Nederland, Northglenn and Superior