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Driving You Crazy: Why is the left turn from eastbound First Avenue to Cook Street blocked off?

First Ave at Cook Street
Posted at 4:59 AM, Jan 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-23 09:22:17-05

Joyce from Denver writes, “What’s driving you crazy? Why isn't there a marked east bound left turn lane at 1st and Cook St? It makes no sense to obstruct the flow of traffic on a busy street just to make a left turn when there is a potential lane to do so.”

What is interesting Joyce is that every street where a driver could go left along eastbound First Ave., there is either a dedicated turn area or place to make that left except at Cook Street.

Just before Cook Street, the city painted diagonal yellow lines in the median area where a driver normally could move into and make that left. After I went out there to take a look, I asked Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) why they have that prohibited left at Cook Street. They told me they wanted to create a specific location where people could cross the street more safely. So, DOTI installed a flashing pedestrian crossing beacon and restricted left turns from eastbound First Ave. to northbound Cook Street. DOTI said removing this left turn helps to reduce the number of conflict points at this crossing and prioritize residents who are walking or rolling in this area.

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Fortunately, it is easy to get around that prohibited left and get back to Cook Street by turning left on either Adams Street or Madison Street, go up to 2nd Ave. and then take a left back to Cook Street.

Driving You Crazy: Why is the left turn from eastbound First Ave to Cook Street blocked off?

Denver7 Traffic Expert Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 25 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 any podcast app including iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spotify and Podbean.