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Safer Main Streets Program Announces 30 Transportation Improvements Worth Nearly $59 million in the Denver Metropolitan Area — Delivering a Key Step in the State’s 10 year Transportation Plan

December 22, 2020 - Denver Metro Area - Improvements will transform urban streets to make them safer and more accessible

DENVER - Following an exhaustive review process, the Colorado Department of Transportation in partnership with the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) have selected thirty transportation projects worth $58.9 million in the Denver and Boulder regions. These investments support the vibrant downtowns that boost the Colorado economy, part of the Polis Administration’s commitment to prioritizing funding for main streets.

Safer Main Streets Logo

“This collaboration between CDOT & DRCOG has produced creative, innovative projects that will reduce traffic delays and increase transportation access and options for Coloradans. The Safer Main Streets program is a great opportunity for local governments and the State to work together to ensure we are successfully serving their communities,” said Governor Jared Polis.

Following an in-depth review process, the Colorado Department of Transportation in partnership with the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) have selected thirty safety-focused transportation projects worth $58.9 million in the Denver and Boulder regions.  This important new program is a key part of CDOT’s ten year plan — “Your Transportation Plan.”

“CDOT is grateful for the tremendous partnership — including federal, state, and local governments — that has made this innovative program possible,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “This first-ever round of Safer Main Street projects will yield tangible benefits for the safety, environment, and economic vitality of communities across the Denver metropolitan area. Driven by the creativity of our local partners, impacts will range from re-envisioning stretches of Colfax in multiple jurisdictions to enhancing pedestrian access to transit facilities like the new N line station in Commerce City, to making crosswalks safer for everyone.  We thank DRCOG in particular for making this program a reality.”

CDOT and DRCOG formed the Safer Main Streets program last summer as part of the state’s ten year plan, which was developed with input from citizens in all 64 counties. This innovative program, focused on the Denver metropolitan area, was a call-out to local government agencies to submit their best and most creative  solutions to reduce fatal and serious injury crashes, increase support for all modes of travel and improve access and mobility for residents of all ages, incomes and abilities.  Thirty out of 46 applications were chosen for funding based on their qualifications to improve safety and accessibility.  These investments will also make communities more vibrant for healthy active transportation at a time when the economic vitality of downtowns is especially important.*See the complete list of projects below.

CDOT and DRCOG scored applications based on safety and accessibility goals.  Project examples include sidewalks, crossings, pedestrian safety enhancements, traffic calming measures, improved lighting, and technology-driven improvements. CDOT expects the majority of projects will be completed by June 2024, with a goal of swift execution to provide maximum benefit. About $59 million will fund the program with $9 million of that amount coming from DRCOG.  Another $18 million is  pending for future projects.

“The collaboration between CDOT and DRCOG has resulted in a safety program that will be delivered by local governments who know how to best address transportation needs for their communities,” said DRCOG Executive Director Douglas Rex. “One of DRCOG’s highest priorities is saving lives, which is the centerpiece of our Taking Action on Regional Vision Zero program.  Safer Main Streets is a critical initiative that will bring life-saving solutions to communities across the metro area.” 

"We need streets that are safe for everyone, whether you are walking, biking, rolling, riding transit or using a car. Unfortunately, too many of our streets, especially the ones that act as the main streets in the Denver region, are unsafe for people. The Safer Main Streets program is doing exactly what it needs to do - put safety for people first - by building out sidewalks, adding safety signals, improving intersections, and increasing safe access to transit and bikeways. This strategy should be a model for the whole state," said Danny Katz, a member of both the Colorado Department of Transportation's Efficiency and Accountability Committee and Transit and Rail Advisory Committee.

“This year has highlighted how safe bicycle and pedestrian amenities enhance our ability to explore our neighborhoods. We thank CDOT and DRCOG for working with us to make our streets safer for all,” says Centennial Mayor Stephanie Piko.

"Safer streets save lives, and we’re excited that our Department of Transportation and Infrastructure has been awarded $24.3M from this initiative,” Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “Denver greatly values this financial support and looks forward to continued collaboration with our regional partners in implementing projects that improve safety for all roadway users, especially along several of Denver's High Injury Network corridors, including South Broadway, West Colfax Ave., Federal Blvd. and Mississippi Ave. These roadways are where we're seeing the most traffic deaths and serious injuries, and one traffic death is one too many."

“Englewood values our partnership with CDOT and the tremendous value these grants bring to our community. These funds will help us greatly improve vehicular, pedestrian and cyclist safety that would otherwise not be possible,” said Englewood Mayor Linda Olson.

“The Town of Erie is honored and excited by this opportunity with CDOT and DRCOG. The County Line Road project that this award will enable the Town to complete has been years in the making. It will bring to focus multi-modal improvements that enhance safety along a critical corridor through Erie in an area that is fronted by two of Erie's amazing schools. This is an exciting project, and the Town is thankful to CDOT and DRCOG for their support,” said Erie Town Engineer David Pasic.

“With the help of CDOT and the Safer Main Streets Grant Opportunity, the City of Littleton will be able to improve it’s most dangerous intersection for cyclists and increase safety at several key pedestrian links to Littleton’s two light rail stations. Given the challenging circumstances of 2020, and  the impacts on municipal transportation funding, the Safer Main Streets Grants are helping Littleton make critical safety upgrades that otherwise may have been delayed for several years,” said Littleton Transportation Planner Shane Roberts.

“We are grateful to the State and City staff who worked on this grant, and look forward to creating a safer regional corridor with the work planned in 2021 at SH 119 and Sunset Street in Longmont.  This safety measure is critical, not only for people driving on this state highway corridor, but also to the people walking and riding bicycles across this corridor within our City.  Thank you again to all the people who worked hard to create this program, apply for the grant, and administer the dollars to these great projects,” said Longmont Mayor Brian Bagley.

“The Town of Morrison greatly appreciates this opportunity to improve our downtown area making the streets safer for our residents and visitors alike.  We look forward to working with CDOT and DRCOG,” said Morrison Mayor Sean Forey.

View a full list of the projects and their descriptions here.

About CDOT

CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located at its Denver headquarters and in regional offices throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Gov. Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.

About DRCOG

The Denver Regional Council of Governments is a planning organization where local governments collaborate to establish guidelines, set policy and allocate funding in the areas of transportation and personal mobility; growth and development; and aging and disability resources.

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