Reader question: What’s with the traffic light at this alley?

Recently, a reader asked us to investigate a traffic light.
2 min. read
A stoplight without a cross street on 6th Avenue, Feb. 27, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; country club; transportation;

If you subscribe to Denverite's newsletter, you know we like to answer reader questions.

Recently, Denverite reader Patricia asked us to investigate a traffic light.

"There is a traffic light on E 6th between Franklin and Gilpin. It seems to be located at an alleyway and I am often caught at the red light there so it does work but I’ve never seen a car come out of the alley. Why does this alley rate its own stoplight? Thanks."

Short Answer: Safety first!

Long Answer: The Denver Department of Public Works says traffic lights are placed on streets with a high volume of traffic and a propensity for crashes.

Along with helping alleviate some potential accidents, installing traffic lights on high-volume, one-way corridors like 6th, 8th, 13th and others can help ease traffic congestion and allow people to drive through the city more freely. Public Works also complies with the federal guidelines for placing traffic lights (feel free to pick up a copy of The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for a thrilling read).

Public Works installed that light on 6th Avenue in front of an alleyway to slow traffic down within that residential area. The light grants an opportunity for pedestrians and bikes to cross 6th Avenue safely with a break in traffic flow. The light also provides an opportunity for vehicles to safely turn into and out of the adjacent alleyway.

And it's not new -- that traffic signal was actually installed way back in 1958 but it has been updated and rebuilt since that time.

Got a favorite oddball stoplight? Or a question you've wanted to ask for a while? Ask away at!

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