Lakewood West Colfax Safety Project

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Join the conversation to build a safer West Colfax for pedestrians, transit users and motorists in Lakewood.

The West Colfax Safety Project is an opportunity to create a safer and more comfortable experience for pedestrians, transit users, and motorists along the iconic West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood, between Sheridan boulevard and Teller street. This segment of West Colfax has the highest concentration of traffic injuries and deaths in Lakewood; in a five-year period ending in 2019, there were six deaths, and in last two years, there have been an additional four deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 10.

Lakewood initiated efforts in 2017 to better understand safety issues along the corridor. In December 2020, Lakewood was awarded a $10 million grant from Colorado’s Safer Main Streets Initiative with support of a Lakewood City Council approved $2.5 million local match to advance the design and construction of improvements along West Colfax. This project, in fact, received the largest amount awarded under the program.

In mid-2021 Lakewood sought feedback from residents, business owners, transit users, and all who travel this section of West Colfax Avenue to help shape the future vision for the corridor and identify needed safety improvements. Community input clearly identified the three top priorities of improving safety, creating a vibrant community asset that incorporates art, and minimizing impacts during construction.

In December 2021 the detailed design phase began. The final design will seek to repurpose an underutilized travel lane to provide safe sidewalks comfortable for anyone regardless of physical abilities, to guide pedestrians to specially designated safe road crossings, to decrease the number of vehicle access points to Colfax in order to minimize conflict along the corridor, to improve roadway and pedestrian lighting, and to implement a pedestrian entry warning system that will be developed specifically for West Colfax to warn drivers of jaywalking pedestrians.

Help us keep you updated by signing up to receive updates through the sign-up box in the upper right corner.

Your participation is important

The community and stakeholders will continue to be involved to help us create a safer and more comfortable experience for pedestrians, transit users, and motorists on Colfax between Sheridan and Wadsworth.

In the coming months, the project team will be out in the community hosting pop-up events to provide project updates. All events will be posted under Upcoming Community Engagement Events along the top-right side of this page.

What We've Heard So Far

With a total of over 800 selections by residents and stakeholders we have heard your priorities of how art should be incorporated into the project. The visual preference summary document highlights what we heard from residents and stakeholders. The artist workshop summary provide a summary of what we heard from participants.

Past Events

  • On March 9, 2022, the West Colfax Safety project team attended the 40 West Summit hosted at WestFax Brewing. Hosted by 40 West Arts, the summit is an annual event for the community to network and provide the district feedback about goals, their mission, initiatives, and more for 2022. It was also an opportunity for the community to provide initial opinions about how artwork can be incorporated along the project corridor to improve safety. The project team was also available to answer questions about the project. A summary of the feedback received can be found under important documents.
  • On March 31, 2022, a group of approximately 20 artists joined the project team to brainstorm how art can be incorporated along the project corridor to improve safety. The artists gathered around project maps to discuss, collaborate, draw, and present ideas. A summary of the event can be found under important documents.
  • On April 15, 2022, the project team attended the Benefits In Action cleanup day along the West Colfax corridor. The team presented about the project and got feedback from the approximately 60 students from McLain High School.
  • During the late-afternoon of April 26, 2022, the project team set up a pop-up event at the Lamar Station. The pop-up event sought to get feedback from transit users and local community members using the paved multi-use path.
  • On May 6, 2022, the project team joined 40 West for the Friday Friday Art Walk. Community members were able to speak with the project team, ask questions, and provide input about art along the project corridor.
  • On May 18, 2022, the project team presented at the Ward 2 Councilor Meeting. The team provide a project update and answered questions from attendees.
  • During the week of May 23, 2022, the project team held a series of four property owner and business owner meetings. Each meet was hybrid, with the option to attend in-person or via zoom, and the same content was presented at each meeting. The presentation included information about each design element intended to help achieve the project goal of improving safety for vehicles, pedestrians, and transit users.
  • On June 7, 2022, the project team walked the project corridor and spoke to each business along West Colfax between Sheridan boulevard and Teller street. Each business was provided a postcard, in English and Spanish, that provided high-level project information and encouraged them to attend virtual office hours to ask specific questions.
  • Virtual office hours were held on June 15 and 20, 2022. All businesses along the corridor were invited to attend and speak directly with project team members. A Spanish speaking project team member attended on both days for those who preferred to speak Spanish.
  • On June 23, 2022, a second artist workshop was held. Participates were members of the Equity in the Arts Committee and the event focused on identifying ways the future corridor design can represent the diversity of communities that live on or near the project corridor.

Safety data

Data and planning efforts demonstrate that it is imperative to improve the safety for everyone walking, using transit and driving along West Colfax.

    • 75% of survey respondents felt unsafe walking on Colfax and 33% of respondents felt unsafe driving on Colfax.
    • West Colfax from Sheridan to Wadsworth has the highest number of vehicle vs. pedestrian collisions in the city, resulting in a significant number of pedestrian fatalities. Lakewood Transportation Engineering identified 820 total crashes in this 1.5 mile segment from January 2015 to December 2019. These crashes have caused 283 serious injuries and six fatalities.
    • Ninety-eight of the crashes involved a pedestrian or cyclist. Of the 98 crashes, 74 resulted in serious injuries and five resulted in death. These statistics indicate that a crash occurred every other day in the project area.
    • The Lakewood Police Department has identified West Colfax as a high priority area for addressing pedestrian safety.
    • The West Colfax Vision 2040 Action Plan, developed in consultation with the community, contains goals for West Colfax Avenue over the next 20 years. These goals include exploring ways to build attractive and safe pedestrian infrastructure along West Colfax and identifying critical pedestrian connections and crossings as well as intersection improvements. The 40 West Arts District Urban Design and Mobility Concepts also addressed these needs.

Project components

This project will create consistent sidewalks through repurposing the outside lanes of traffic; add designated pedestrian crossings in specific locations; establish pullouts for buses and provide bus stop amenities; improve street lighting for safety; and enhance driver safety by increasing sight-distances, reducing conflicts with turning vehicles, updating intersection traffic signals and lengthening turn lanes – all of which will improve safety for everyone while reducing driving stress.

Working with partners

In addition to working with CDOT, the city's key partners on the project include the Lakewood-West Colfax Business Improvement District, the Regional Transportation District, the organizations that supported the Safe Main Streets grant application, businesses and community members.

Lakewood will provide matching funds for the project, creating the opportunity to build a safer and better functioning West Colfax that will also be an asset to the community and local businesses.

Project area

The project area includes West Colfax from Sheridan to Wadsworth. This segment is home to a wealth of commercial, transit, art and cultural destinations in Lakewood.

Join the conversation to build a safer West Colfax for pedestrians, transit users and motorists in Lakewood.

The West Colfax Safety Project is an opportunity to create a safer and more comfortable experience for pedestrians, transit users, and motorists along the iconic West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood, between Sheridan boulevard and Teller street. This segment of West Colfax has the highest concentration of traffic injuries and deaths in Lakewood; in a five-year period ending in 2019, there were six deaths, and in last two years, there have been an additional four deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 10.

Lakewood initiated efforts in 2017 to better understand safety issues along the corridor. In December 2020, Lakewood was awarded a $10 million grant from Colorado’s Safer Main Streets Initiative with support of a Lakewood City Council approved $2.5 million local match to advance the design and construction of improvements along West Colfax. This project, in fact, received the largest amount awarded under the program.

In mid-2021 Lakewood sought feedback from residents, business owners, transit users, and all who travel this section of West Colfax Avenue to help shape the future vision for the corridor and identify needed safety improvements. Community input clearly identified the three top priorities of improving safety, creating a vibrant community asset that incorporates art, and minimizing impacts during construction.

In December 2021 the detailed design phase began. The final design will seek to repurpose an underutilized travel lane to provide safe sidewalks comfortable for anyone regardless of physical abilities, to guide pedestrians to specially designated safe road crossings, to decrease the number of vehicle access points to Colfax in order to minimize conflict along the corridor, to improve roadway and pedestrian lighting, and to implement a pedestrian entry warning system that will be developed specifically for West Colfax to warn drivers of jaywalking pedestrians.

Help us keep you updated by signing up to receive updates through the sign-up box in the upper right corner.

Your participation is important

The community and stakeholders will continue to be involved to help us create a safer and more comfortable experience for pedestrians, transit users, and motorists on Colfax between Sheridan and Wadsworth.

In the coming months, the project team will be out in the community hosting pop-up events to provide project updates. All events will be posted under Upcoming Community Engagement Events along the top-right side of this page.

What We've Heard So Far

With a total of over 800 selections by residents and stakeholders we have heard your priorities of how art should be incorporated into the project. The visual preference summary document highlights what we heard from residents and stakeholders. The artist workshop summary provide a summary of what we heard from participants.

Past Events

  • On March 9, 2022, the West Colfax Safety project team attended the 40 West Summit hosted at WestFax Brewing. Hosted by 40 West Arts, the summit is an annual event for the community to network and provide the district feedback about goals, their mission, initiatives, and more for 2022. It was also an opportunity for the community to provide initial opinions about how artwork can be incorporated along the project corridor to improve safety. The project team was also available to answer questions about the project. A summary of the feedback received can be found under important documents.
  • On March 31, 2022, a group of approximately 20 artists joined the project team to brainstorm how art can be incorporated along the project corridor to improve safety. The artists gathered around project maps to discuss, collaborate, draw, and present ideas. A summary of the event can be found under important documents.
  • On April 15, 2022, the project team attended the Benefits In Action cleanup day along the West Colfax corridor. The team presented about the project and got feedback from the approximately 60 students from McLain High School.
  • During the late-afternoon of April 26, 2022, the project team set up a pop-up event at the Lamar Station. The pop-up event sought to get feedback from transit users and local community members using the paved multi-use path.
  • On May 6, 2022, the project team joined 40 West for the Friday Friday Art Walk. Community members were able to speak with the project team, ask questions, and provide input about art along the project corridor.
  • On May 18, 2022, the project team presented at the Ward 2 Councilor Meeting. The team provide a project update and answered questions from attendees.
  • During the week of May 23, 2022, the project team held a series of four property owner and business owner meetings. Each meet was hybrid, with the option to attend in-person or via zoom, and the same content was presented at each meeting. The presentation included information about each design element intended to help achieve the project goal of improving safety for vehicles, pedestrians, and transit users.
  • On June 7, 2022, the project team walked the project corridor and spoke to each business along West Colfax between Sheridan boulevard and Teller street. Each business was provided a postcard, in English and Spanish, that provided high-level project information and encouraged them to attend virtual office hours to ask specific questions.
  • Virtual office hours were held on June 15 and 20, 2022. All businesses along the corridor were invited to attend and speak directly with project team members. A Spanish speaking project team member attended on both days for those who preferred to speak Spanish.
  • On June 23, 2022, a second artist workshop was held. Participates were members of the Equity in the Arts Committee and the event focused on identifying ways the future corridor design can represent the diversity of communities that live on or near the project corridor.

Safety data

Data and planning efforts demonstrate that it is imperative to improve the safety for everyone walking, using transit and driving along West Colfax.

    • 75% of survey respondents felt unsafe walking on Colfax and 33% of respondents felt unsafe driving on Colfax.
    • West Colfax from Sheridan to Wadsworth has the highest number of vehicle vs. pedestrian collisions in the city, resulting in a significant number of pedestrian fatalities. Lakewood Transportation Engineering identified 820 total crashes in this 1.5 mile segment from January 2015 to December 2019. These crashes have caused 283 serious injuries and six fatalities.
    • Ninety-eight of the crashes involved a pedestrian or cyclist. Of the 98 crashes, 74 resulted in serious injuries and five resulted in death. These statistics indicate that a crash occurred every other day in the project area.
    • The Lakewood Police Department has identified West Colfax as a high priority area for addressing pedestrian safety.
    • The West Colfax Vision 2040 Action Plan, developed in consultation with the community, contains goals for West Colfax Avenue over the next 20 years. These goals include exploring ways to build attractive and safe pedestrian infrastructure along West Colfax and identifying critical pedestrian connections and crossings as well as intersection improvements. The 40 West Arts District Urban Design and Mobility Concepts also addressed these needs.

Project components

This project will create consistent sidewalks through repurposing the outside lanes of traffic; add designated pedestrian crossings in specific locations; establish pullouts for buses and provide bus stop amenities; improve street lighting for safety; and enhance driver safety by increasing sight-distances, reducing conflicts with turning vehicles, updating intersection traffic signals and lengthening turn lanes – all of which will improve safety for everyone while reducing driving stress.

Working with partners

In addition to working with CDOT, the city's key partners on the project include the Lakewood-West Colfax Business Improvement District, the Regional Transportation District, the organizations that supported the Safe Main Streets grant application, businesses and community members.

Lakewood will provide matching funds for the project, creating the opportunity to build a safer and better functioning West Colfax that will also be an asset to the community and local businesses.

Project area

The project area includes West Colfax from Sheridan to Wadsworth. This segment is home to a wealth of commercial, transit, art and cultural destinations in Lakewood.

Ask a question

Ask your question here about the West Colfax Safety Project, and we will respond within three business days. 

Please note, your question will be visible to the public. If you'd like to send a question privately, please use one of the email addresses in the Who's listening section in the upper right corner of this webpage.xternal link)

For general questions and concerns about the city, please visit www.Lakewood.org/RequestLakewood(External link), which is the city's online customer service hub available 24 hours a day. 


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    Hello and thank you for working to make this a safer area! I have a question to build on Tony's question - are there other current/planned initiatives to better address homelessness, drug use, and crime in this part of Lakewood? I call this neighborhood my home and the prevalence of homelessness, public drug use, and crime is by far the number one thing that makes me feel unsafe (although I definitely do support improved traffic safety and better lighting as well). The Sheridan RTD station is practically a makeshift homeless shelter half the time and I avoid walking past EZ Pawn whenever possible. How can we as neighbors and a community best help in cutting down on homelessness, crime, and addiction here, and do you have a list of resources/initiatives/partnering organizations working on this?

    Kyle asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for your comment. The West Colfax Safety Project is not directly addressing homelessness as this is outside the scope of the project. However, the City of Lakewood has identified homelessness as a high priority and is working to develop a citywide coordinated response.

     

    Lakewood has several initiatives to better address homelessness that provide navigation and supportive services to move individuals and families who are unsheltered off the street into stable housing.

    • Lakewood Police launched the Community Action Team (CAT) several years ago that specializes in community issues such as homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse. Included in CAT are two homeless navigators, two Jefferson Center mental health co-responders and two Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program managers. These civilian members of the Police Department work directly with those who are sheltered and unsheltered to connect them with resources, case management, emergency shelter options, and supportive services.  
    • The city is in the process of hiring a homeless coordinator to provide a citywide coordinated response to homelessness and to bridge the gap in communication with local nonprofit partners and other nearby cities.   
    • Lakewood also is working with Jefferson County on a regional response to homelessness through the Housing Navigation Collaboration. This effort is in conjunction with the county and other municipalities within Jefferson County to create two housing navigation centers in the northern and central parts of Jefferson County. The Housing Navigation Centers are intended to provide 24/7 shelter, on-site case management, supportive services, affordable and permanent supportive housing options to people experiencing homelessness. Currently, the HNC is working to identify funding sources and ideal sites for these facilities. 
    • The city also participates in the Built for Zero program, which is a national program that works to improve homeless planning, data collection and service coordination within communities to systematically end homelessness. 
    • Lakewood recently adopted an ordinance that allows eligible organizations in the city to participate in the Colorado Safe Parking Initiative. This program allows people who are unsheltered and living in their vehicles to safely park overnight in designated locations where they have access to food, restroom facilities and supportive services. 
    • Several organizations and affordable housing developers are creating supportive housing in Lakewood. Jefferson Center for Mental Health will be constructing 40 units of permanent supportive housing that will serve people experiencing homelessness and those individuals with incomes less than 30 percent of Area Median Income. That project will begin construction in the fall of 2022 and will take 18 months to complete. More information about the project can be found online at https://www.jcmh.org/solidground/.

     

    The Police Department is aware of the condition at the RTD Sheridan Station and the bus stop at Sheridan and Colfax. The area is complex to manage due to the mix of public and private ownership of the properties, which makes our response more difficult. If you think there is a crime occurring, please call 911.  For non-emergency items, please call 303-980-7300.  To report suspicious activity or unsafe conditions on any RTD property including the light rail station, parking garage, or bus stops, contact RTD Transit Watch at 303-299-2911.  Reporting issues as they are happening often will help us to provide a more effective response.

     

    If you have any further questions related to homelessness in Lakewood, it is best to direct those questions to www.lakewood.org/RequestLakewood.  

     

    Resources for people in need:

    211 Colorado: https://www.211colorado.org/

    Colorado Housing Connects: https://coloradohousingconnects.org/

    RecoveryWorks: https://recoveryworkstoday.org/

    Mean Street Ministry: https://www.meanstreetministry.org/

    Action Center: https://theactioncenter.org/

     

    Jefferson County Partnership working to end homelessness

    JeffCo Heading Home: https://www.headinghomejeffco.com/home

     

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    Are any elements of this Colfax revitalization plan going to reduce the levels of homelessness and crime on the corner of Sheridan and W Colfax especially at the EZ Pawn and the gas station across the street from it?

    Tony asked 4 months ago

    The City of Lakewood has identified addressing homelessness issues as a high priority. It has put in place homeless navigation services to work directly with these residents to move them off the street. It is also in the process of hiring a homeless coordinator to better manage the city’s response to this issue, and it works through nonprofit partnerships and housing development to decrease the number of people experiencing homelessness. If necessary, law enforcement will contact individuals engaging in criminal activity. 

    While the West Colfax Safety Project is not directly addressing homelessness, this project will provide safer crossings and an improved pedestrian environment along Colfax that is intended to benefit all users including those individuals experiencing homelessness. Increasing pedestrian safety and activity will increase the number of “eyes on the street,” and contribute to a safer pedestrian environment. The project will also include increased levels of pedestrian-level lighting to address safety, especially in the eastern segment of the project approaching Sheridan Boulevard.

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    Why do we need to shut down a lane and each direction when there are only 3 buildings thathree buildings that keep Colfax from being walkable now ? It would be cheaper to buy those 3 run down buildings And save the taxpayers millions..

    Forrest jones asked 4 months ago

    There are significant pedestrian and vehicular safety issues and a lack of walkability conditions within the entire segment of Colfax Avenue between Sheridan Boulevard and Teller Street. One of the main purposes of this project is to improve safety, including pedestrian safety and providing pedestrian facilities comfortable for anyone regardless of physical abilities. The project is achieving this goal by providing sidewalks that are buffered from traffic, reducing pedestrian crossing distances (to reduce exposure to vehicles) and by providing safe crossing locations. To provide all these safety enhancements, the project needs to repurpose the outside lanes. An added benefit of this lane repurposing is the expected reduction of speeds due to the effect of roadside elements closer to the driver as noted in their peripheral field of vision.

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    We need traffic calming, it's way too easy to speed on this straight 6 lane stroad. Exhibit A: https://kdvr.com/news/local/driver-clocked-going-73-mph-on-colfax-in-subaru/

    zbholman asked 4 months ago

    Repurposing of the outside lanes will result in a narrower road along with roadside elements such as landscaping. Speed choices or cues are influenced by a driver’s peripheral vision. By bringing these roadside elements closer and into the field of view, drivers have been shown to feel they are going faster as compared to a wider roadway. Hence, the new design of a narrower West Colfax is expected to result in traffic calming and slower speeds.

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    Hello! Brian here again. Will the speed limit be reduced on Colfax Avenue in this area? Reducing vehicular speeds greatly increases safety and decreases the likelihood of injury or death from collisions. If we want this section of Colfax to become a safer place, or destination, reducing the speed seems like an appropriate step (and low cost). For travelers going through the area, the reduced speed will encourage them to use other roads (6th ave, I-70) designed to get people from one place to another. Needless to say, I think speed should be reduced on Colfax, at least in this section, so that we can make it more of a destination as opposed to a thoroughfare. "Strong Towns" and "Confessions of a Recovering Engineer" by Charles Marohn Jr. greatly encourage speed reductions for place making and building community wealth, I think this is a prime example of somewhere that could have speed reductions. If not for building the community, but for making it safer for those within it and traveling to it. Myself being one of them.

    Brian asked 11 months ago

    Hi Brian, 

    CDOT sets speed limit on state highways.  Once the project is complete, speed limits would be reassessed at that time to determine if 35 m.p.h. is still the appropriate speed limit, or if the majority of motorists are travelling at a reduced speed.  If the latter is the case, CDOT as the owner of the roadway may consider reducing the posted speed limit. One of the main issues that has resulted in this stretch of West Colfax having the highest concentration of injuries and deaths has been pedestrians crossing in unexpected locations and times. This project will address this issue to make it safer for both motorists and pedestrians. Additionally, significant differences in the speeds that motorists drive, with some driving significantly over the speed limit and some driving under it, also create unsafe conditions that lead to crashes. The new design will reduce speed differentials on West Colfax, benefiting motorists and pedestrians alike.  

    Thank you, The Lakewood Safety Project Team 

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    With the likely addition of trees/shrubs/flowers as this project is worked on, is there a plan to focus on using plants that are native to Colorado? This would provide a wide range of benefits to local ecology and would in most cases require the least amount of resources to maintain.

    Jon asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your question. The next phase of this work will dig into the specific of design elements, including  any plantings that are included. Your idea for using native  plants and the multiple benefits is certainly something that the team will keep in mind and recognizes the benefit of doing. We hope that as these questions are brought up you will continue to be involved and share these ideas in upcoming opportunities, such as the visual preference survey and public meeting.

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    Hi! In the JCBS Shopping Center (Casa Bonita, Planet Fitness, Westfax Brewing), there is a lot of unused business space and parking spaces. Is there any plan to either attract businesses or repurpose the unused space? With the increasing population density of the area, the area seems to have a lot of potential that is unfulfilled. Thanks! Brian

    Brian asked over 1 year ago

    Brian,

    Thank you for reaching out and for your interest in Lamar Station Plaza (Casa Bonita shopping center) and the Safety Project. I work closely with the owners of Lamar Station Plaza to keep tenants in the center as well as attract new tenants. The new additions to the area, proximity to the galleries, location on the ArtLine and other amenities are making this center a gathering place for many. We continue to reach out to retail and entertainment uses to fill vacant spaces and create new exciting interactions for visitors to the center. We are also working with other neighborhood uses such as healthcare providers, offices and others to add vibrancy, jobs and activity to the center. Promotion is a large part of our collaboration as well, to promote all existing and new businesses to visitors to include their openings, events and anniversaries. I am happy to answer any additional questions you may have on our recruitment and attraction process and how it works if you are interested. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

     

    Vanessa Zarate, CEcD 

    Senior Economic Development Specialist 

    City of Lakewood

    303-987-7514

    VanZar@Lakewood.org

Page last updated: 29 Jul 2022, 10:06 AM