Eyes on the Street: “Sidewalks” Popping Up on Walnut Street
Denver Public Works won’t be building standard sidewalks on Walnut Street any time soon, but while we’re waiting for a permanent, concrete pedestrian surface, crews have started installing what amounts to a parking-protected walking lane on segments of the speedy one-way street in River North.
These low-cost “sidewalks” define space for pedestrians with curb stops (low concrete barriers), creating a walking path along the fast-developing strip between Broadway and Downing Street. The project is not complete yet, and may not finish until mid-September, project manager Michael Koslow said.
It’s good as a quick-and-dirty short-term fix, but it’s clearly no substitute for the real deal. Crews have installed concrete curb ramps on the corners as well, and there’s a world of difference between the quality of those surfaces and the uneven asphalt, gravel, and dirt along the makeshift path, which will be especially troublesome for people in wheelchairs.
As parcels are developed, builders will have to construct eight-foot sidewalks by their properties. Then in 2019, when Walnut is slated to become a two-way street (as long as funding is secured), the city says it will fill in any remaining sidewalk gaps.