It’s a two-way street, said transportation officials about Walnut Street in Five Points’ RiNo district

The conversion of the one-way speedway is supposed to make it safer, but the street still lacks blocks of sidewalks.

Walnut Street is a one-way street. March 4, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Walnut Street is a one-way street. March 4, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photos

Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure will convert a 1-mile stretch of Walnut Street, a one-way road out of downtown, into a two-way street this week.

The redesign of Walnut from Broadway to Downing Street is part of the Hancock administration’s push to make streets safer for people walking and biking in order to encourage sustainable transportation modes over solo driving. Drivers tend to speed less on two-way streets, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Two-ways are also more intuitive for people using all modes, especially bus riders who can catch the same bus in either direction on a single street, the association says.

A rendering of what a two-way Walnut Street could look like. (Courtesy of the Denver's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure)

A rendering of what a two-way Walnut Street could look like. (Courtesy of the Denver's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure)

Walnut’s makeover, supported by the River North Art District, comes as the street continues to develop with homes and businesses. The redesign has been talked about for over three years but will take just two days to implement.

While the street may feel less intimidating to pedestrians, its spotty sidewalk network remains. Some blocks lack sidewalks and instead feature temporary walking lanes along the street with curb-like barriers. The city government is not building sidewalks as part of this project, though they are recommended in a 2017 street plan.

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