David from Denver writes, What’s driving you crazy? “I saw this "thing" when walking on south Broadway between 6th & 5th avenue just in front of Dunkin' Donuts. Are we being invaded by something?”
No David, I’m relatively sure that we aren’t being invaded. The camera system you saw set up on the sidewalk along Broadway near 4th Ave is there to watch traffic. Denver Public Works is using cameras like that one to collect traffic data along that stretch of Broadway that flows from downtown Denver to I-25 as well as on Lincoln Street from 5th Ave to Colfax. DPW is doing this in conjunction with the changes they recently made to the bus lane.
If you didn’t hear or see, the bus lane on both Broadway and Lincoln Street has changed from a rush hour only bus lane to 24/7 bus only lane. There is new red pavement markings on both roads and new signs have been installed reminding drivers of the change. The overhead flashing lights that used to come on only during rush hours are on all the time now. You are still allowed to use that lane but only if you are making a right turn or turning into a parking lot or parking space.
Detractors to the new 24 hour a day bus lane say it is a waste of capacity since a bus only comes along every 5 or 10 minutes during the day and infrequently during evenings and weekends. Proponents of the new lane say this is a way to encourage more people to use transit to move around the city faster.
The cameras are just temporary until the city gathers as much data as they feel is needed. For example, the one you took a picture of near 4th Ave and Broadway is already gone.
Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 20 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Podbean.