DENVER - The City and County of Denver and the Regional Transportation District are eyeing a redesign of the 16th Street Mall that would reduce the frequency with which pedestrians and buses cross paths.
In October, the city and RTD shared a number of possible redesign concepts and sought public input on which one would be best. On Wednesday, they announced they're recommending a design that shifts both bus lanes to the center of the street and widens the sidewalks on both sides.
Officials say the new design would improve pedestrian safety and mobility as the number of people walking and riding the bus along the 35-year-old mall increases.
More than 40,000 people take the Free MallRide buses every day and that number is expected to climb to more than 70,000 by 2035.
"As pedestrian traffic and ridership grow in this crucial corridor in the years ahead, our agency is pleased to be working thoughtfully with our partners in determining the best path forward," said RTD CEO and General Manager Dave Genova. "We believe the public will appreciate the changes that have been proposed."
The proposed redesign of the mall would preserve the overall look and feel of the mall, including the existing pattern of pavers, and would also involve planting more trees than currently exist along the mall, officials said.
Denver and RTD are seeking public input on the latest recommendation with two open houses, scheduled for noon and 5 p.m. on March 8, 2018 at RTD's headquarters, 1660 Blake Street. An additional public hearing will likely take place sometime in May.
If approved, the redesign project would start in 2019 or 2020 with completion slated for 2022. Funding would come from a number of sources, including federal grants and general obligation bond money.
For more information, log on to denvergov.org/themallexperience.