Mason from Denver writes, “What's driving you crazy? The intersection of Downing and Louisiana, at the corner of Wash Park. If traveling East on Louisiana and wanting to turn left heading north on Downing, you run into an issue with cars turning right in their own turn lane. However, westbound Louisiana has a separate turn lane for going North with a Yield sign. Is this sign to yield to people turning left on eastbound? Stuck in a turn lane.”
That busy intersection on the southwest side of Washington Park is going through a transformation. It is part of Denver’s goal to modify traffic flow and increase pedestrian/bicyclist safety as they access recreation activities in Washington Park.
Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure installed new traffic signals that hang on new signal poles at this intersection. They also made major infrastructure and utility upgrades. That was one phase of the changes. The other change you will see is in those turns you mentioned. Once construction is complete this spring, the westbound right turn traffic will have a dedicated lane. The 60-foot-long turn lane is already carved out and paved, but new striping needs to be completed.
The yield sign located at that right turn lane is to make sure drivers yield to pedestrians who are crossing. Those right-turning drivers are also supposed to yield to the vehicles traveling northbound on Downing past Louisiana. DOTI tells me the drivers turning left from eastbound Louisiana to northbound Downing must yield to oncoming traffic, including the vehicles turning right. To help with that turn, the city added a northbound left turn green arrow.
There is still work left to do at that intersection. DOTI crews are still working to rebuild the curb and gutter around the signal. They also need to finish the improvements to the sidewalks that are much wider and easier to use. That work will be complete when the weather warms up this spring.
The improvements to this intersection are just one part of many improvements along the Downing Street corridor on the west side of Washington Park. You can read about them from Denver’s Downing Pedestrian Crossings & Speed Study.
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, Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunes , Stitcher , Google Play or Podbean.