Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Colfax Corridor Connections Seeking Public Input

After introducing Colfax Corridor Connections in September 2012, the project team gathered community input throughout the fall to help inform the transit and mobility study. Technically known as Public Scoping, this phase defined the study and sought input on the challenges and opportunities for improving transportation in the East Colfax corridor.

"Community engagement is essential to the success of this study," said Terry Ruiter, Colfax Corridor Connections Project Manager with Denver Public Works. "Public workshops will be held during each of the four project phases. These meetings will provide details and seek input on the alternatives being evaluated to improve mobility, accessibility and livability for transit users, pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers."

To kick off the study, the Colfax Corridor Connections team conducted extensive community outreach and collected input that will shape the study's focus and inform its decisions. Public workshops were held on October 1st and 4th, 2012, in both Denver and Aurora with nearly 100 participants providing more than 125 comments over the course of two evenings.

Some common themes identified by the public at the initial meetings were:

  • The East Colfax corridor is increasingly congested for all modes and this project is needed.
  • Transit stations and vehicles should be safe, clean, comfortable and easy to access.
  • Although the study area is an urban environment, the study should consider environmental factors, such as trees, water and air quality.
  • Many related projects and studies have been conducted in the area and Colfax Corridor Connections should consider and build off of them.
  • It is important to maintain the unique character of Colfax and consider how transit users, pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers access the corridor and move within it.
Denver Public Works, in coordination with the Regional Transportation District, the Denver Regional Council of Governments, the Federal Transit Administration and the City of Aurora, has now begun the preliminary analysis of transportation alternatives for the corridor. The initial findings will be presented at public workshops in early 2013.

Between now and next fall, increasingly detailed evaluations of alternatives -- including public input as one of many criteria considered -- will be used to identify and recommend one or more solutions that best meet the mobility needs of the corridor with the least environmental impact. By identifying solutions now, the City and its partners will be able to make informed decisions that work toward a broad, cohesive and sustainable plan for the future.

Ask Terry: Q&A with Colfax Corridor Connections Project Manager Terry Ruiter

Question: What transportation alternatives are being considered?
Answer: Colfax Corridor Connections is evaluating many transit and multi-modal alternatives. Potential options include revised operations of existing transit routes, use of larger buses, bus rapid transit (BRT), transit-only lanes, streetcar service, light rail, bicycle and pedestrian improvements and more. Combinations of options will also be used to create alternatives, such as enhanced bus service with pedestrian and bicycle improvements.

Q: What factors are taken into consideration when evaluating alternatives?
Answer: The study's multi-level screening process considers more factors and more detail in each phase of evaluation. The current, preliminary screening phase, conducts a pass/fail analysis to identify solutions with no reasonable chance for implementation. Those that have a "fatal flaw" -- because of cost, irresolvable impacts or technical challenges -- are eliminated from further consideration. During the more detailed levels of evaluation, in-depth quantitative analyses are applied, such as community and environmental impacts, cost-effectiveness, projected ridership, local land-use plans and how the alternatives would improve mobility in the corridor. Public support is another important evaluation criteria considered in the evaluation of alternatives.

Q: Will there be construction? When will it start?
Answer: Not yet. Colfax Corridor Connections will identify an action or set of actions that can be taken to meet transit demand and improve mobility in the East Colfax corridor. This action, or set of actions, would become part of a long-term, cohesive and sustainable transportation plan and implemented as funding becomes available.

Q: What is the best way for me to get involved in this study?
Answer: Public input is vital to making decisions that are in the best overall interest of the communities within the East Colfax corridor. Public workshops will be held during each of the four project phases, with the next meetings tentatively scheduled for early 2013. To get involved and receive project updates, visit, email the project team at or call the project hotline at (303) 223-6595.

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