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.
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.