Denver city planner talks ideas to ease traffic woes and improve safety

'Our Colorado' explores ideas to ease traffic

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DENVER -- Drive around downtown Denver during rush hour and you can almost feel the frustration. City planners are working on a long-term transportation plan and vision for the city through 2040.

"And it is a challenge at times to figure out how to move more people through our existing street network," said David Gaspers, Principal City Planner and Project Manager for Blueprint Denver.

Gaspers said the goal is to identify certain streets to prioritize transit or bikes, in addition to making safety improvements for pedestrians. He also wants to factor neighborhoods into the overall design. 

"We really are more about moving people through our streets, not just cars so we need to think about multiple modes of transportation," said Gaspers.

He admits some improvements to transit could result in more congestion for cars but he's okay with that as long as more people are able to be moved through the same corridor by bus, bike, walking or some combination.

Near Denver's Central Business District, streets were recently reconfigured with safety and different modes of transportation in mind. The city converted 19th and 20th Avenues from one-way to two-way streets to improve circulation and calm traffic. Grant and Logan Streets were also converted to two-way traffic between 18th and 20th Avenues. 

Safety was a driving force behind the changes. Traffic signals were replaced with stop signs to slow down drivers, pedestrian crossing were improved and a newly striped bike path was added.

You can find more information on the city's transportation planning process at Blueprint Denver.

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