Denver struggling to get the growing number of 16th Street Mall goers to stick around

For most visitors, Denver’s 16th Street Mall is a essentially a hallway.

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The 16th Street Mall. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  sixteenth street; 16th street mall; cbd; central business district; downtown; denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite;

The 16th Street Mall. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

For most visitors, Denver’s 16th Street Mall is essentially a hallway.

Only about 3 percent of people sat, shopped or stayed on Denver’s 16th Street Mall on a typical Sunday this summer, according to new data from the city.

The number of people sticking around the mall on a summer Sunday is essentially unchanged from 2015, despite the area seeing a 27 percent uptick in pedestrians.

Denver might need to add more seating, activities and better store fronts to get people to stick around, according to a report Denver City Planning Director Brad Buchanan shared during a forum Thursday.

The report shows that this summer 49 out of 1,795 people (or 2.7 percent) took time to hang out on the mall. That’s compared to 49 out of 1,419 people (or 3.5 percent) spending quality time on the mall in 2015.

People staying on the mall could help with some of the mall’s perception issues, the report indicates.

More people staying on the mall discourages soliciting behaviors from petitioners, homeless people, urban travelers and others, said Andrea Burns, spokeswoman for the Denver Community Planning & Development office.

Full findings on who is using the mall and how are expected to be released during the beginning of 2017.

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

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