Rethinking the Broadway-Lincoln Corridor

by Jenny Niemann

At last week’s Denver Moves Broadway public workshop, the City presented a range of options for transforming the Broadway/Lincoln corridor into a safer, more livable place, while improving mobility for all modes. This corridor has been the focus of many City plans. Most recently, the Golden Triangle Neighborhood Plan envisioned Broadway as a “Grand Boulevard.” This workshop sought feedback on alternatives for implementing that neighborhood vision through a redesign of the travel lanes on both roads and placemaking throughout the corridor.

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One of three proposed design alternatives presented by the City. Image courtesy of Denver Public Works.

The City offered three different roadway design alternatives that would provide a protected bike facility on the corridor by removing a lane of traffic on either Broadway or Lincoln. Based on current traffic counts and speeds, City planners assert that Broadway could handle losing a travel lane without much increase in congestion. Providing more space for bikes creates the sort of multi-modal environment that is good for pedestrians, too: removing a lane of traffic and narrowing travel lanes will slow down travel speeds and reduce the distance pedestrians must go to cross the street.

Detail of proposed placemaking elements. Image courtesy of Denver Public Works.

Detail of proposed placemaking elements. Image courtesy of Denver Public Works.

The most interesting part of the workshop was the presentation of placemaking concepts for every block of the corridor. Despite the great mix of shops, restaurants and bars along the corridor, the speeding cars and huge space devoted to them don’t contribute to a welcoming place to walk. Proposed placemaking strategies would provide many more amenities for pedestrians and anyone who wants to enjoy the corridor. Enhancements included curb extensions, or bulb-outs, to reduce crossing distances, parklets, landscaping, enhanced crosswalks, and traffic calming. Pedestrians were clearly the focus here: planners envision pedestrian gathering spaces, activation of surface parking lots fronting the road, and a pedestrian-oriented alley.

Example of a curb extensions that shortens crossing distance. Image courtesy of Denver Public Works.

Example of a curb extensions that shortens crossing distance. Image courtesy of Denver Public Works.

I was encouraged to see the workshop recorded videos of residents talking about their experiences in the corridor, and what they hoped to see in the future. The videos will be compiled to communicate the community’s goals for the corridor. We can hope that residents’ videos will end up providing additional support for making Broadway and Lincoln streets that work for everyone.

If you missed the meeting, you can still learn about the project and provide feedback through a website the city created for the project. Go here to learn more about the project’s background and goals, see the information presented at the workshop, and provide feedback. Submit comments about the design alternatives by November 30, 2015.

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Jenny Niemann is a WalkDenver Policy Committee member and a MURP/MPH graduate student at the University of Colorado Denver

By | 2016-12-27T18:05:27+00:00 November 21, 2015|Categories: Advocacy, Bicycles, Motor Vehicles, Pedestrians, Transit, Walkability|Tags: |6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Mark November 21, 2015 at 9:34 am

    It looks nice. However, I was led to to believe they would be putting in protected bike lanes not buffered. There is a difference. The difference is, protected lanes with a curb will bring all ages. Buffered will not.

    • Ken Schroeppel November 21, 2015 at 10:33 am

      The image shows one option. Your feedback is needed to help influence these types of decisions.

    • Jerry November 21, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      Well, technically, that image shows a parking-protected bike lane with a buffer between the bike lanes and the parking spaces. While a curb-level, parking-protected bike lane would be fantastic, I think that what is shown there is really good.

  2. Today’s Headlines | Streetsblog Denver November 23, 2015 at 8:54 am

    […] DenverUrbanism Shares Its Take on Redesigning Broadway and Lincoln […]

  3. David November 24, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    It’s a shame that RTD is not involved in this project at all. A protected bike lane would be amazing, but the corridor will not truly be multimodal without permanent, traffic separated BRT. As far as I can tell neither the city, RTD or the consulting group has shown any interest in pursuing this.

  4. Tyler November 24, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    A parking protected cycle track makes the most sense here. It requires less construction, while still providing parking, and a cycle track the is protected from speeding cars. What is pictured above, perhaps with islands at the corners between the road and the cycle track, in addition to the bulb outs, I would say is the most preferable option for Broadway.

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