Denver looks at permanently closing city streets to favor cyclists

September 12, 2023 by No Comments

Denver is taking measures to permanently close three streets that were converted to pedestrian-only areas during the pandemic. This is part of a broader initiative aimed at enhancing the city’s pedestrian and bicycle friendliness. However, there is a decision to reopen a portion of Seventh Avenue.

Two sections along Larimer Street and one on Glenarm Place in the downtown area are currently undergoing a city review process to remain closed for an additional five years. If there are no objections after 2028, these closures, which have the support of business owners and economic development groups, will become permanent.

Simultaneously, in various neighborhoods, the city plans to reintroduce partial street closures that were implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. These closures, which involved the placement of barriers to slow and deter car traffic, will create at least five new pedestrian-friendly streets before 2030. These projects will include the addition of green spaces and lane narrowing, according to city planners interviewed by the Denver Post.

These street closures are part of a broader, citywide, long-term transformation effort that could cost up to $800 million annually, with the goal of promoting car-free transportation options. City planning documents outline several large-scale projects, including the establishment of over 100 miles of “Bus Rapid Transit” lanes on major routes, the creation of 400 miles of dedicated bicycle lanes, and improvements to make 1,300 miles of streets more pedestrian-friendly.

The streets currently under consideration for permanent closure include sections of Larimer Street between 14th and 15th streets, Glenarm Place between 15th and 17th streets, and Larimer Street between 29th and 30th streets.

Regarding the pedestrian-friendly streets within neighborhoods, specific locations have not all been determined yet. These areas could span five blocks or more and will be managed under a separate city program. They will feature lane narrowing and landscaped elements to encourage local traffic only. One such area will be North Acoma Street between 10th and 12th avenues, and another will be 39th Avenue between Williams and Franklin streets, as confirmed by city officials. Additionally, there are proposals from developers to create another pedestrian-oriented district in Cherry Creek, east of University Boulevard.


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