Bus Lanes and Improved Cycling Infrastructure Proposed For Speer Boulevard And Leetsdale Drive
Speer Boulevard is among the most clogged roads in Denver at nearly any hour. Getting through Cherry Creek can take seemingly forever. Leetsdale Drive is full of stop-and-go traffic. On top of all of that, the transit options to get to Cherry Creek, Glendale, and Southeast Denver are less than desirable. RTD has one bus line, route 83, which goes down Speer and Leetsdale, but it moves slowly. A search on RTD’s trip planner shows the trip taking a half an hour during morning rush hour to go from Quebec and Leetsdale to Civic Center Station, a distance of only 6.5 miles.
While Denver has studied a streetcar for Speer in the past, now they are looking at a different option: placing bus lanes on Speer. The project is called Go Speer Leetsdale and it is in the early planning stages. Options being studied include a dedicated bus lane in each direction similar to the ones one Lincoln and Broadway, one reversible bus lane similar to how the I-25 express lanes work between Downtown and US-36, or using a combination bus/HOV lane like the lanes on Santa Fe. Also being studied are new bus stations, new bus routes, and new signaling at intersections which would allow buses to jump the traffic and get to the next stop faster. Part of the study also will look at how to improve bike infrastructure along both roads and improving safety at several intersections for cyclists.
While this is good news for transit users, this will mean fewer lanes for cars. The ability to get from downtown to Cherry Creek in ten minutes may lead to people who are more than happy to lead their cars at home. This is also good for pedestrians as Speer Boulevard will be easier to cross. While the exact scope of the study is yet to be completed, the city seems to be looking at improvements which will stretch from 7th Avenue to Mississippi Avenue. Buses on this route currently turn onto Lincoln and Broadway and head to Civic Center Station so bus lanes between 7th Avenue and I-25 may not be needed. The current cost of the project is estimated to be $56 million.
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Featured image credit: RTD.