New Book Aimed at Enriching Main Street

DENVER—When you travel on streets bustling with people and activity, you tend to see lively storefronts and sidewalk cafes with people walking their dogs, kids on bicycles and friends conversing. Even though you're on the street, you sense it's a special place. It might be a main street that's also serves as a highway, or a neighborhood street. But you feel the energy of the community by the activity around you.

These types of great streets are the subject of the new publication "Colorado Downtown Streets." Produced by the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the book is a tool for communities, planners and engineers, and is intended to help move the conversation around designing downtown streets as special places—while balancing transportation needs.

Main streets often reflect a community's identity since that is where people live, shop and visit. But they also often provide a center for activity that can improve a city or town's economic and physical health.

"The preservation of local main streets is critical to the economic growth and stability of a community's central business district," said Irv Halter, DOLA executive director. DOLA is proud to collaborate with agency partners to help streamline the planning and execution of vital downtown streets."

"Colorado Downtown Streets" is a resource to help guide downtown street design. It provides the reader with common language, elements and colored illustrations of great streets, as well as examples and case studies that are specific to Colorado. In addition, the book provides tips and strategies to understanding transportation planning, design and funding.

"Typically, great streets provide options for all users," said CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt. "We have many communities in Colorado that rely on a state highway to be its main street. This book helps communicate the fine balance in designing to move people as well as goods into and through a community."

"Communities that provide safe, easy access to walking and biking are investing in the health of all Coloradans," said Dr. Larry Wolk, CDPHE executive director and chief medical officer.

"Colorado Downtown Streets" is available for download. In addition to the book, you can access four animated videos that provide an interesting and entertaining way of presenting main streets information.