Rethinking the Cloverleaf
The Colfax Avenue and Federal Boulevard Transformation Project is studying opportunities to restructure the current interchange to see if a portion of the land can be used in the future for development that fits in with the Denver Plans and community needs.
This study is identifying community goals for possible development of land, is analyzing different transportation and stormwater options, is identifying land use options, and is providing scenarios of what a reconfigured intersection might look like.
Photo: Community members envision the future of the interchange during a pop-up event. Credit: Denver Post
Did you know that the elevation changes over 100’ from Mile High Stadium Circle to Irving Street?
That's as tall as an 8-story building!
This change in elevation is unusual in Denver. Views from the interchange to the east (to downtown Denver), and south (to the mountains) are unique to this location and may enhance development. With increased pedestrian access to the site, more people would benefit from these views.
The neighborhoods surrounding the interchange have faced constant challenges and obstacles going back decades.
As the figure below shows, the residential neighborhoods surrounding the interchange were historically redlined, indicating that housing loans to purchase homes would not be allowed. As a result, the predominantly non-white households living in these areas could not obtain a loan, purchase a home and were therefore blocked from one of the ways that households accumulate wealth to pass on to future generations.
The figure also indicates that neighborhoods redlined in the 20th century have the highest neighborhood inequity today as measured by education, poverty, and access to services and amenities.
One of the significant land use challenges today is the rapid pace of change.
New housing types have been introduced to this area, resulting in changes to community character and households.
According to Blueprint Denver, the Colfax & Federal interchange is anticipated to serve as an Urban Center/Corridor and General Urban Center/Corridor – the east side of Federal & Colfax is General Urban.
Urban Center:This context contains high intensity residential and significant employment areas. Development typically contains a substantial mix of uses, with good street activation and connectivity. Residents living in this context are well served by high-capacity transit and have access to ample amenities and entertainment options.
Urban Corridor: Corridors should be consistent with the character of the surrounding area in scale and design. They should have an active street level presence and provide a mix of uses.
General urban: neighborhoods are vibrant places with proximity to Denver’s major centers like Downtown and Cherry Creek. Homes in this context vary from multi-unit complexes to compact single-unit homes. Development should be sensitive to the existing neighborhood character and offer residents a mix of uses, with good street activation and connectivity. Residents living in this context are well served by transit and enjoy access to abundant amenities and entertainment options.
Fun (not so fun) Fact!
In Denver’s Gameplan for a Healthy City, one of their goals is to provide easy access to parks, striving for everyone to be within a quarter mile to open space.
With redevelopment of the Cloverleaf, there is an opportunity to include parkland and/or pedestrian/bike connections. This would meet the goals of Gameplan to connect the neighborhoods west of Federal to the park space south and east of the Cloverleaf.