This e-newsletter is the first in a series introducing the Colfax & Federal Interchange Transformation project and exploring the key design elements of the study including Transportation & Mobility, Stormwater Management, Land Use & Economics and Open Space & Placemaking.

We look forward to engaging with you throughout this study process! Please visit the project website to learn more about the study and to find out about upcoming engagement opportunities. Also, please complete the Existing Mobility Conditions Questionnaire to share your thoughts and concerns around mobility in this area!

Project Description

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.

Rethinking the Cloverleaf

The future configuration of Colfax Ave and Federal Blvd will accommodate not only vehicles, but other modes of transportation including pedestrians, bicycles and transit.

The redesign of this interchange will bring positive change to mobility options for surrounding West Denver neighborhoods and strengthen connectivity to the South Platte River, the Decatur-Federal Station and the Lakewood Gulch Trail.

Fun Fact!

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.

Photo: Colfax & Federal 1933 vs today. Source: denver.streetsblog.org

As a pedestrian, maneuvering this interchange along Colfax Ave or Federal Blvd is challenging.

The photos above highlight the inhospitable and often uncomfortable conditions experienced by pedestrians crossing the cloverleaf.

Pedestrian Crossings

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.

Crash Data

The map above identifies crash locations within the last five years.

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.

Fun Fact!

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.

Bicycle Travel

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.

Future Development & Mobility

The Stadium District Development and the redevelopment of Denver Housing Authority’s Sun Valley Homes will improve the pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks east of Federal Blvd. These network improvements coupled with better pedestrian crossings through a re-configured interchange will greatly improve connectivity in the area.

The map above depicts existing and planned multimodal connections.

A key outcome of future development and this interchange study is to design roads, sidewalks and spaces in a way that makes it easier for everyone to get around!

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.

1. Equity

Create a pedestrian network and environment that provides mutually beneficial accessibility between residential uses and future destinations.

2. Resiliency

Strengthen mobility options and create visibly integrated transportation modes that ensure redundancy in the transportation system.

3. Connectivity

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.​

These words represent stakeholder top priorities for this study and are reflected in the vision statements

Photo (left): Colfax & Federal Interchange pop-up event. Source: The Denver Post

Please visit the project website to learn more about the study and provide feedback!

Additionally, please take a moment to complete the Existing Mobility Conditions Questionnaire to share your thoughts and concerns around mobility in the area.


Created with an image by Pascal Meier - "untitled image"