Sneckdown Redux: Blizzard Dumps Traffic-Calming on Denver Streets

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Huge sneckdowns occur everywhere, but particularly where one-way streets intersect. On 13th Avenue, a curb extension caused by Mother Nature juts out about 10 feet from the corner. Photo: David Sachs

Just after the official start of spring and a 70-degree day, Colorado’s quirky weather handed Denver another snowstorm, and another chance to see how its streets can be redesigned. That’s right, it’s nature’s street design fix: The sneckdown.

The term, if you’re not familiar, is a blend of “snowy neckdown.” (A neckdown widens sidewalks at street corners so drivers take turns more carefully and pedestrians have shorter distances to cross.) As drivers trace paths through the snow, a lot of asphalt remains untouched, especially at intersections. That excess space is marked by piles of snow — sneckdowns — that illustrate how much space could easily be claimed from cars to make the street safer.

Fixes don’t have to be expensive. Other cities have used paint and plastic to give pedestrians a greater share of the street

Here are a few sneckdowns from around the city after the blizzard, with a focus on a prime sneckdown locale, 13th Avenue.

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13th and Sherman. Photo: Kayla Gilbert
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13th and Clarkson. Photo: David Sachs

Thanks to readers who shared their photos. Got a picture or video of a Denver sneckdown? Share it on Twitter or Facebook and we may share it on the blog. You can email me as well.

  • Scott Sanderson

    Wow these photos really show how much excessive public space can be used for cars. The streets could be much safer and include more green space. If Mayor Hancock is really serious about Vision Zero, I hope he is paying attention!

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