The Colfax & Federal Interchange Transformation Study is a joint study between the City and County of Denver Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI) and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
The Study will explore the redesign of the 29-acre CDOT interchange to include future transportation, stormwater management improvements and land use development opportunities. Pedestrian, bicycle and transit improvements will better connect neighborhoods from West Colfax to Sun Valley.
Photo (right): Project Area Map.
Did you know the Colfax-Federal interchange was built prior to the construction of I-70 when Colfax Avenue (US 40) was the primary east-west corridor for regional and interstate travel through Colorado?
Today, a lot of vehicles pass through, but not enough to necessitate a highway interchange. The interchange carries over 40,000 average daily vehicle trips (ADT) a day and its current configuration occupies 29-acres of land, a far larger footprint than the original intersection of Colfax Ave and Federal Blvd (as shown in the photo comparison below).
The photo on the left is the Colfax and Federal intersection in 1933. Clusters of homes, shops, and services surround the intersection. Compare this to the massive interchange of today (right photo). Removal of the cloverleaf offers an opportunity to develop valuable urban land, re-establish community supporting land uses and improve local mobility through the intersection.
As a pedestrian, maneuvering this interchange along Colfax Ave or Federal Blvd is challenging.
Pedestrian activity in the interchange area is highest at Federal Boulevard and Howard Place where approximately 350 pedestrian crossings occur in the peak period every day.
In the last five years, 7-percent of all crashes that occurred in the study area involved a pedestrian or bicyclist, but pedestrians and bikes comprise less than 2-percent of travel through the interchange. In fact, there were 15 vehicle-pedestrian crashes at the intersection of Federal Boulevard and Howard Place, three of which were fatal to the pedestrian.
Did you know that the Decatur-Federal Station serves 9,300 riders a day on average? There are eight bus lines and one light rail line that have service stops at the Decatur-Federal Station, with approximately 44 buses passing through on a typical peak hour.
There are no designated bicycle facilities within the interchange area. It is not uncommon for people to ride their bicycles on the sidewalks along Federal Blvd., adjacent to fast moving traffic.
Proposed bicycle facilities from Denver Moves include the continuation of bike lanes along 17th Avenue from Sloan’s Lake, improvements within the future Stadium District and a proposed neighborhood bikeway along Irving Street, west of the interchange.
Photo (right): Bicyclist crossing the interchange.
Vision Element Statements for Mobility
These vision statements were developed by reviewing 23 prior studies and from stakeholder input. The statements evaluate mobility through four lenses: Equity, Resiliency, Connectivity, and Health & Safety.
Create a pedestrian network and environment that provides mutually beneficial accessibility between residential uses and future destinations.
Strengthen mobility options and create visibly integrated transportation modes that ensure redundancy in the transportation system.
Develop cohesive multi-modal network that ensures efficient access and supporting infrastructure between modes.
4. Health and Safety
Redesign the interchange to ensure safe movements for all modes: pedestrians, bicycles, transit users, and vehicles. Ensure safe and comfortable access to public recreational uses.
Photo (left): Colfax & Federal Interchange pop-up event. Source: The Denver Post