#StreetFail: Golfers Enjoy Luxurious Sidewalks While Bus Riders Take a Hike

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Photo: David Sachs

Here’s a sad joke on Colorado Boulevard.

This bus stop near 38th Avenue on the edge of Park Hill Golf Course requires people to walk and wait on a ridge of lumpy dirt. Weeds, plants, and bushes create an impassable route for wheelchair users and a dangerous one for everyone else. The RTD stop is a couple feet from a 35 mph street where drivers routinely go faster. There’s another identical bus stop a few blocks south, near 35th Avenue.

The immaculately manicured golf course on the other side of the fence, complete with a paved path for golfers to leisurely walk and drive on, adds insult to injury. (Errant golf balls can, literally, cause injury.)

These bus stops are between a half-mile and a mile from RTD’s 40th and Colorado Station, so they should be solid first-and-last-mile connections. Instead, they’re another reminder that a commuter rail line to the airport is only as good as the transit, walkability, and bikeability around its stations.

So who will fix it? Who knows.

Park Hill Golf Course? Sidewalks are the property owner’s responsibility in Denver, but that policy is rarely enforced.

Colorado DOT? Colorado Boulevard is a city street under CDOT’s jurisdiction, but that agency is also responsible for the city’s deadliest streets, meant to move cars as fast as possible, not to create safe places for pedestrians.

RTD? The transit agency says bus stops themselves — not the paths leading up to them — are its only responsibility.

Denver Public Works? During a City Council Sidewalk Committee meeting earlier this year, City Council Member Stacie Gilmore asked a Public Works employee about dangerous, undignified bus stops and the paths leading to them: “Who is responsible for that dirt or mud patch to make sure that we are creating a system for people to move around the city safely?” The employee responded, “There is no one that has taken responsibility for that, is the true answer.”

RTD can pat itself on the back for FasTracks transforming transit in Denver, and Mayor Michael Hancock can claim Denver is a Vision Zero city. Until simple, basic inequities in the city’s transportation system are fixed, who will believe any of it?

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