Safety and Circulation Masterplan

Denver, Colorado

Washington Park is a popular and busy Denver park with perhaps the highest level of visitation of any park in the city. It is particularly popular with users as a place to both train and recreate on its perimeter Loop Road, which is unique in Denver in that it offers the only continuous loop available to cyclists and other wheeled recreational modes within the City. The Loop Road is also very popular with walkers, rollerbladers and joggers. As Denver continues to urbanize, the use of Washington Park and the Loop Road has steadily increased, and as a result, so has the incidence of user conflicts. The City of Denver Parks and Recreation Department hired a team led by Stream to address the City’s and park user’s concerns about the Loop Road’s safety, and to develop a comprehensive and understandable approach to creating a safer and more enjoyable Loop Road for as many different types of users as possible while maintaining the wonderful character of Washington Park.

The Loop Road is a 2.2-mile internal park road that roughly follows the perimeter of the park, and passes by many popular picnic and activity areas including sports facilities, a recreation center, parking lots and facilities such as restrooms and a maintenance yard. It is used by visitors for getting around the park, for training, and for recreating. A portion of the Loop Road also accommodates vehicles for access to parking areas, the recreation center, and event venues. The original design of the Loop Road never could have anticipated the intense level of use that it currently receives, so as a result there are numerous conflict points.

The safety plan developed by the Stream team addresses safety improvements in a comprehensive manner and includes a wide range of improvements including lane configuration changes, crosswalks and mixing zone improvements, vehicular roadway and parking lot modifications, a signage program, education and awareness programs, and regulation and enforcement policy recommendations. The plan has been acclaimed by Denver Parks, stakeholders, and neighborhood groups as a huge step towards a safer Loop Road.