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Plans to Improve the 16th Street Mall Take Shape

DENVER — The City and County of Denver, the Federal Transit Administration, Regional Transportation District (RTD), Downtown Denver Partnership, and Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (BID) announced this week the next step toward improving the 16th Street Mall, one of the city’s most critical economic engines and vital public spaces.

Over the past 37 years, the mall’s infrastructure has deteriorated. A flexible and sustainable plan is needed to address deteriorating infrastructure, provide equitable and sufficient space for high-quality public gathering opportunities, improve pedestrian and vehicle safety, and continue reliable two-way Free MallRide transit service while honoring the mall’s use and iconic design.

The project team has released a draft environment assessment of the proposed project, which describes the need for the project, the alternatives considered, the environmental impacts of each alternative and how impacts would be mitigated. The public is encouraged to review this environmental assessment at www.denvergov.org/themallexperience and submit comments through May 14.

As the premier pedestrian environment in the Rocky Mountain Region, the proposed design in this assessment would improve infrastructure, mobility, safety and increase public use. The project partners propose to replace the failing pavement system and better design public space within the mall blocks. A new granite paver system will be installed with improved surface friction and proper drainage. The spatial reconfiguration will create wider pedestrian areas with trees on both sides of each block and consolidate the transit lanes in the middle of the blocks.

The 16th Street Mall Improvement Project requires an environmental clearance per the National Environmental Policy Act to utilize federal funding. Public input is an important component of this environmental assessment that will help shape the future of the Mall.

If approved, the project will be funded through a combination of Denver Urban Renewal Authority Tax Increment Financing, federal grants, and local funds, including the Elevate Denver bond program.

The public is encouraged to learn more about the project and the environmental assessment at upcoming public meetings at the Regional Transportation District, 1660 Blake Street Denver, CO 80202 on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, from 12-1 p.m. and 5-6 p.m.

Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

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