Pueblo Wants More Pedestrians On Union Avenue And Main Street

Nathaniel Minor/CPR News
Pueblo’s Union Avenue stretches across the Arkansas River through downtown.

Plans are in the works to improve sections of Pueblo’s historic Union Avenue and Main Street districts.

The project aims to improve parking, pedestrian access and streetscapes by creating more space for outdoor restaurant seating, adding new lighting and other functional and aesthetic upgrades.

During a recent virtual public presentation, project consultant Denise Aten said this includes slowing the traffic flow on Union to make it more walkable and bicycle-friendly.

“We also wanted to improve economic development and encourage access to businesses and other local destinations ... and continue to build upon the character within this area of town,” she said

Courtesy of the City of Pueblo
A possible design for proposed improvements on Pueblo's Union Avenue, showing the expanded sidewalk area and reduced vehicle traffic lanes. From the Recommended Master Plan Layout Presentation in February 2021.

Among the suggested changes are shifting some of the traffic to Main Street by replacing existing traffic lights on Union with four-way stop signs, as well as enhancing crosswalks, improving or adding bike lanes on both streets and Arkansas River trail connections.

Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar was also online for the public presentation. He said these changes will help draw people to the area, making it more vital than it's been in the past.

“The concept that Union Avenue will be a neighborhood rather than a thoroughfare is probably a really good one that will sort of change the character there and make it an amenity not just for visitors to Pueblo, but for our residents as well,” he said.

The master planning initiative combines separate projects on Union Ave and Main Street. The estimated total cost for the project is about $6 million. Half of that is expected to come from Pueblo County’s 1A fund which voters approved in 2016. That would cover work on the plan’s highest priorities, likely to begin later this year.

Other funding sources may include the city and Colorado Department of Local Affairs.