Looking for one of the best people-watching places in Downtown? The 16th Street Mall is the obvious choice, but the Highland Bridge that carries 16th Street into Lower Highland is a great place to see Denverites getting around without their cars. The addition of Amato’s Ale House at 16th and Central has also boosted pedestrian and bike traffic over the bridge.
I have a view of the Highland Bridge from where I live, so a few Sundays ago I decided to do a pedestrian count of traffic over the bridge. During one hour in the late afternoon I counted 262 pedestrians (plus 31 dogs) and 139 bicyclists. That comes out to about seven peds/bikes crossing the bridge every minute. While the amount of traffic using the bridge obviously varies throughout the day and evening and weekdays/weekends, it’s evident that several thousand pedestrians/bicyclists, at a minimum, use the Highland Bridge on a daily basis.
The trio of pedestrian bridges linking Downtown Denver and Highland is a remarkable example of how to connect neighborhoods and create people-friendly spaces. Making more of these types of connections with other Downtown-adjacent neighborhoods is a top priority for the city, the Downtown Denver Partnership, and all of us working to boost Denver’s urbanity.