Story by Kathlyn Meyer
Colfax has long needed an overhaul, and someone finally has a plan.
The city and county of Denver, the city of Aurora, the Regional Transportation District, and the Federal Transit Administration have formed the Colfax Corridor Connections study. Its first two meetings were held last week at the Anschutz Medical Campus and at the Knights of Columbus hall in downtown Denver.
The aim of the study is to identify options to improve transportation along the East Colfax corridor.
The meeting held a dual purpose: bring awareness about the study to residents of Denver and obtain feedback from those same individuals living in the impacted area.
“It’s more than Colfax. It stretches from this whole area. So, that’s about a 10-square-mile area,” said Tim Baldwin, a consultant with the study.
As shown by maps at the meeting, the selected area of study ranges from Interstate-25 to Interstate-225 and from 20th to 12th avenues. This area stretches then from Anschutz Medical Campus to the Auraria Campus.
Baldwin’s emphasis was on the impacted area of congestion, which affects drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. The study intends to consider all forms of transit in determining how best to improve overall mobility within the East Colfax corridor.
The study started in June and is in the first of a four-phase plan, scheduled for completion in 2013.
As stated on the plan website, the goal of the first phase is to “identify options for meeting mobility and transit needs in the corridor.”
Part of this preliminary phase requires the involvement of all the impacted areas of the East Colfax corridor, in order to properly identify the problems with congestion and mobility.
“We are going into this with no preconceived notion about what the answer is,” Baldwin said. “The federal government requires us to be totally objective as we go through this process.”
Baldwin said that the goal of the Colfax Corridor Connections study is not to make assumptions but to identify the problem and then effectively resolve it.
The study is estimated to cost $3 million, $2 million of which was provided from an FTA grant. Denver provided the remaining $1 million.
The ultimate goal is to improve movement, not only with current issues along the east Colfax corridor but also potential issues thats may arise over the next 25 years.