Santa Fe Drive Action Plan- A Planning & Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study | C-470 to I-25

The Santa Fe Drive Action Plan is complete!

Access the Completed Plan Here.

About the Project

The Santa Fe Drive Action Plan is a Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study that identifies future transportation and safety improvements for an 11-mile stretch of Santa Fe Drive (U.S. Highway 85) between Central 470 (C-470) and the junction of Alameda Avenue and Interstate 25 (I-25). The Plan was developed beginning in 2020 an finalized in 2022.

Santa Fe Drive is a north-south principal arterial highway owned and operated by CDOT. It is a regional facility and is included in long-term planning services provided by Denver Region Council of Governments (DRCOG) and the Regional Transportation District (RTD).

Santa Fe Drive is located in three counties and four municipalities which are all funding partners:

  • Arapahoe County
  • City and County of Denver
  • Douglas County
  • City of Englewood
  • City of Littleton
  • City of Sheridan
Santa Fe PEL study project map

What Did the Santa Fe Action Plan Evaluate?

Currently Santa Fe Drive has high annual average daily traffic (AADT), and drivers along the corridor experience frequent congestion and costly travel delays. As the population of the southwest metro area grows in the future, a vision and plan for future transportation improvements on Santa Fe Drive is needed. The Santa Fe Action Plan will examine design alternatives that address overall congestion, traffic operations, multimodal capacity, and safety. Root causes of congestion are identified through the analysis of current and projected traffic volumes in relation to the current deficiencies on Santa Fe Drive. These deficiencies include structural bottlenecks, substandard roadway design, and system capacity.

The Santa Fe Drive Action Plan includes long-term (more then 10 years), short-term (two-10 years) recommended alternatives, as well as projects that could be implemented more quickly, that create a vision for the needed improvements on Santa Fe Drive. The long-term alternatives are major improvements, while the short-term alternatives are projects that can quickly and cost effectively address existing problems. The Santa Fe Drive Action Plan development and evaluation of alternatives are based on a consideration of:

  • Traffic congestion
  • Roadway geometry
  • Travel time reliability
  • Local access
  • Bicycle and pedestrian facilities
  • Access to transit
  • Planning and environmental factors
  • Impacts and benefits for the adjacent communities
  • Public and agency input.

Early Action Projects

Nine Early Action Projects were identified in the Action Plan. These are projects with relatively simple project development requirements (e.g., little to no right-of-way, minimal environmental resource impacts) and can be advanced by the participating jurisdictions to address corridor wide deficiencies and advance the overall strategy for improvements along Santa Fe Drive. Four of the nine Early Action Projects already have funding identified. The Early Action Projects include:

  • The Crestline Ave Conversion to Right-in/Right-out would improve safety through the closure of the raised center median prohibiting southbound left turns and would improve operations on Santa Fe Drive by shifting the left turn movement to the Prince Street signalized intersection. - FUNDED
  • The Prince St Northbound Auxiliary Lane with Bike Lanes would modify striping on Santa Fe Drive, eliminating conflicts and safety issues caused by confusion about the delineation of the left turn lane and the HOV lane. This project would also add a northbound auxiliary lane and east/west bike lane through the intersection in turn improving multimodal safety. Ultimately this project would reduce the bottleneck at Prince St through operational improvements. - FUNDED
  • The Oxford Avenue Sidewalk would be constructed on the south side of Oxford Avenue west of Santa Fe Drive and connect to existing sidewalk at the bus stop east of River Point Parkway and the Santa Fe Drive intersection with enhancements to improve safety at the crossing. - FUNDED
  • The Hampden Avenue Sidewalk would be constructed along the north side of Hampden Avenue through the Santa Fe Drive interchange and provide an additional crossing of Santa Fe Drive and connection to Englewood Station. - FUNDED
  • The Northbound Auxiliary Lane Vinewood to Bowles project would improve striping and modify the island to provide an additional auxiliary lane. New northbound right turn lanes at Church Street and Bowles Avenue would also be provided. These improvements would reduce bottlenecks at Church Street and Bowles Avenue and reduce crashes caused by traffic congestion.
  • The Littleton/Downtown Trail to Station Connection Improvements would provide improved and additional wayfinding along the Little’s Creek Trail enhancing multimodal connections and improving safety.
  • The Mary Carter Greenway Trail would be widened under US 285 to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety by reducing conflicts caused by the narrowing of the trail under US 285.
  • The Northbound Auxiliary Lane through Dartmouth project includes providing a northbound auxiliary lane by modifying striping on Santa Fe and would reduce congestion related crashes and improve operations along Santa Fe Drive.
  • Additional wayfinding would be installed at Little Dry Creek at Dartmouth directing pedestrians and bicyclists to use the trail underpass to cross Santa Fe Drive. This project would improve safety by reducing conflicts at the Dartmouth intersection and improve operations by reducing the number of pedestrian crossings.

For more information about each of the Early Action Projects, please refer to Section 5.7 on page 72 of the Action Plan or Appendix G.