In the latest chapter of Denver retrofitting state highways into places where human beings can walk and roll, Hampden Avenue is set to get a few adjustments for pedestrians.
The city will spend half a million dollars on seven “pedestrian refuges,” or places for people to chill mid-street while attempting to cross the sea of cars. The intersection at Verbena Street will receive its own flashing, blinking signal that alerts drivers when people are trying to cross.
“It’s going to get a tiny bit better,” said southeast Denver City Councilwoman Kendra Black. “That’s a huge improvement, but it’s only one step in the right direction.”
Black shepherded a much more aggressive — and expensive — vision for the road through a public process last year. The document imagines roomy paths for people walking and biking, for example, but that won’t happen anytime soon.
The crosswalk improvements are just the first phase of a long process. Voters approved $5 million for pedestrian improvements on Hampden, and this project takes up just 10 percent of that funding.
Denverites will see better crossings at Tamarac Street, Poplar Street, Oneida Way and mid-block at 7500 E. Hampden Ave., between two shopping centers.
Armed with city money from Denver’s 2017 voter-approved bond, Colorado Department of Transportation crews will begin work late this month. They should be finished by November, according to CDOT spokeswoman Tamara Rollison.
Anyone looking to get knee deep in some construction information can head to a one-hour public meeting May 15 at 5:30 p.m. at Temple Sinai.