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Denver International Airport wants you to weigh in on the future of Peña Boulevard

Peña Boulevard
Posted at 8:50 PM, Aug 14, 2023

DENVER — As the Denver International Airport (DIA) continues to grow — in size, and in volume — city and airport leaders are looking at how to grow the ways travelers get to the airport.

A team with DIA is currently working on the Peña Boulevard Transportation and Mobility Master Plan Study — also known as the Peña Study — and is in need of public input.

Nearly 129,000 cars, on average, drove on Peña Boulevard each day in 2022, and its traffic is expected to climb further as traffic through DIA climbs. More than 69 million passengers traveled through the airport last year, setting a record for the airport and making it the third busiest in the world.

The combination of high air travel and local traffic has made traffic delays on Peña more common, a concern raised consistently so far in feedback solicited for the Peña Study.

“Lots of folks are concerned that the existing Peña Boulevard is not the right way, per se, for folks to move to and from,” said Lisa Nguyen, principal transportation planner at the Denver International Airport. “And we’re certainly taking that to heart as we look at several different alternatives.”

The Peña Study is ongoing, but the team behind it has already ruled out one proposed option. More lanes for single occupancy cars are no longer being considered, Nguyen said.

“To reduce our carbon footprint, we need to look at ways to incentivize higher occupancy vehicles, whether that’s carpooling, vanpooling, as well as looking at other options,” she explained.

Three other options are still on the table. One option would see the lane structure of Peña remain the same, but there would be infrastructure improvements such as new lighting, signage, and pavement. Another option under consideration is to create new lanes exclusively for carpooling, vanpooling, and public transportation. A third plan would seek to create separate routes for airport traffic and local traffic, such as a frontage road for residents of the neighborhoods near DIA.

As the options are deliberated through the study, the team at DIA is seeking feedback from the community. In-person community meetings are being held, and information and feedback forms are available online, as well.

The Greater Denver Transit group is among the more than 20 “stakeholders” already consulted for the project. Co-founder James Flattum said the group has pushed for a greater emphasis on public transportation along the Peña corridor — something Nguyen said is a key objective for the Peña Study.

“It is possible that 10 years from now, it could be a lot easier for you to get to the airport, but part of that is making sure that we’re building it today,” Flattum said. “So that 10 years from now, we will be able to have an A-Line [train] that is running every seven and a half minutes; that people aren’t going to be waiting 30 minutes at Peoria Station, or 40th and Colorado to get to their next destination, right? It has to be something that is seamless and convenient for people to consider transit.”

You can learn more about the Peña Study, and provide feedback, on the Denver International Airport’s website. In-person meetings are scheduled for Wednesday August 23 and Wednesday August 30 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Green Valley Ranch Farmers Market in Denver.

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