Colfax Avenue safety improvements could wrap by 2024

Andrew Fraieli
Posted 3/13/23

Since 2015, there have been 729 crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists in Lakewood — 28 resulted in deaths. 

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Colfax Avenue safety improvements could wrap by 2024


Since 2015, there have been 729 crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists in Lakewood — 28 resulted in deaths, according to Colorado Department of Transportation data.

Busy Colfax Avenue is a particularly dangerous area and a focus of a city effort to improve safety for pedestrians and drivers alike.  A crash occurred on the stretch between Wadsworth and Sheridan boulevards every other day from 2015 to 2019. 

The timeline for improvements meant to reduce crashes is coming together. The project's design will be 100% complete this year, though permits have already been issued, with some construction underway. The goal is to complete everything by 2024.

“This segment of Colfax is just not safe for pedestrians and drivers, the statistics bear that out,” Lakewood's Comprehensive Planning and Research Manager Roger Wadnal said in a March 6 study session. “The issue is primarily pedestrians getting hit by vehicles, and vehicles crashing into other vehicles because of the condition of the streets.”

Since the effort started, he noted an additional 10 pedestrian deaths.

“The project goal is to make it a safer environment, and a quality environment for pedestrians, with amenities, certainly contributes to the revitalization of Colfax in this area.”

That safer environment includes removing outside lanes of Colfax to create buffer zones between the cars and sidewalk using landscaping and trees. The sidewalk would also be made continuous along the entire section.

Officials said most of the pedestrian deaths in Lakewood happened away from intersections. Another issue that Wadnal said the city aims to resolve is to create better crossings and “pedestrian refuge areas," which would allow pedestrians to wait in medians to cross if they are not able to rush across Colfax.

The funding for the project came from The Safer Main Streets Initiative grant, a competitive grant for the entire metro area. It provided the city with $10 million in 2020 to make  the improvements. Part of the reason the city was awarded the grant was because of the fatality statistics on the section of Colfax.

Supply chain issues and inflation have affected the budget since 2020, Wadnal said. That has required the city to look for additional grants and funding, including through the state.

colfax pedestrian deaths, lakewood pedestrian safety


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