Eyes on the Street: A New Signalized Crosswalk on Chaotic East Colfax

IMG_7577
Photo: David Sachs

People walk to a lot of places on East Colfax — East High School, the state capitol, restaurants, music venues, stores, and community centers — but there aren’t enough places to cross the street safely. Colfax is designed primarily to move tens of thousands of cars each day, and that’s what makes it one of the most dangerous streets for walking.

Denver Public Works recently made walking (and biking) on Colfax a little less nerve-wracking by signalizing the intersection at Steele Street. Steele is midway between two other signalized crossings at Fillmore and Adams, which are more than a quarter mile apart. So before this new signal was installed, people on foot had to go out of their way to find a crosswalk where cars would come to a full stop. Pedestrians can push a button to trigger a walk signal without waiting for a full light cycle.

Steele is a north-south bike route interrupted by Colfax, where cyclists have to follow a half-block jog on the sidewalk to continue. The new intersection treatments include markings across Colfax for northbound cyclists, and Public Works will install a bike box on Steele for southbound cyclists, with a camera that will trigger a green light when it detects a cyclist.

The signals are something the city can do relatively quickly to make this intersection more tolerable for people walking and biking, but it will take more than a few tweaks to make Colfax safe. The fundamental problem with Colfax is that it’s too wide and drivers go too fast. Only a bold, thorough redesign can fix that.

  • John Riecke

    Could you link the city drawings for the intersection?

    • David Sachs

      Sorry John, don’t have them. Interviewed someone at DPW to get the details.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Today’s Headlines

|
Of Course GOP Lawmakers Will Push New Transpo Bill Focused on Highway Expansion (DBJ) …In the Meantime, Thank Sens. Tate, Neville, and Hill for Traffic (Sentinel) Following Lawsuit, RTD to Retrofit Light Rail Cars for Wheelchairs (DenPo) Note to NIMBYs: People Have to Live Somewhere (9News) Eight-Story Building in West Colfax Will Have 56 For-Sale […]

Today’s Headlines

|
The Freeway-First Transport Tax Bill Is Dead (DenPo, DBJ) … But More Road-Focused Measures May Be Coming (Denverite) City May Now Bond $900 Million for Transport, Other Projects (DenPo) Illogically, Crashes and Congestion Have CDOT Talking Eight-Lane I-25 (DenPo) Driver Seriously Injures Person Walking at Sixth and Speer (DenPo) Driver Killes 62-Year-Old Man in the […]
Denver Public Works crews install a protected bike lane on 14th Avenue. Photo: David Sachs

Here Comes the 14th Ave Protected Bike Lane

|
Denver Public Works crews began installing a protected bike lane on West 14th Avenuee this week, the first new protected bikeway of 2017. It should be ready to ride by next week. The bikeway, which replaces a standard, striped bike lane, will run for a half-mile between Speer Boulevard and  Bannock Street — or about […]