(DENVER) After extensive preparation and work with local, state and federal transportation and security officials to meet Democratic National Convention needs while keeping downtown Denver open and accessible, the City and County of Denver provided information Wednesday about local mobility and access during the week of the Democratic National Convention (Monday, August 25 – Wednesday, August 27, 2008). Given that the August 28 venue change from the Pepsi Center to Invesco Field at Mile High was just announced last week, roadway impacts have not yet been finalized for Thursday, August 28 and will be announced by early August.
“We have worked very hard to ensure that downtown residents and workers can get around and access their buildings with ease during the Democratic National Convention,” said Mayor John Hickenlooper. “We have said from the beginning that – while there will be some additional screening procedures and security measures in some locations – all downtown residents will be able to access their homes and parking garages, and downtown businesses will be able to remain open with access to employees and customers. Keeping the roads open and transit running will also enable Metro Denver residents to come downtown and enjoy the many public events around the Convention.”
ROADWAY INFORMATION: Monday – Wednesday
Downtown will be open and accessible during the Convention. Nearly all roads will be open and transit services will be operational. The majority of Convention-related movement will occur via bus, foot, and pedicab/bicycle and before/after the main hours of activity inside the Pepsi Center (4 p.m. to 9 p.m.), thereby mitigating impacts on commuters. Unlike previous host cities that closed a large number of thoroughfares, the City of Denver’s commitment to local mobility and convenience is evident in the minimal amount of closures for an event of this magnitude:
• Speer Boulevard from I-25 to Lawrence Street (and the I-25 ramp to southbound Speer Boulevard ) will be closed from 9 a.m. on Monday, August 25 through midnight on Wednesday, August 27 – except during morning rush hour. Two lanes in each direction of Speer Boulevard between I-25 and Lawrence Street (and the ramp from I-25 to southbound Speer Boulevard) will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Wednesday. The I-25 ramp to northbound Speer Boulevard will remain open at all times.
• Auraria Parkway from I-25 to Speer Boulevard will be closed from 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 23 through midnight on Wednesday, August 27. The I-25 ramps to and from Auraria Parkway will be closed during this time frame.
• As announced in mid-June, Bannock Street between 14th Avenue and Colfax Avenue will be closed August 25 – 27 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. for the Designated Parade Route staging area. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – which avoids the standard morning and evening commute times – the westbound lanes of Colfax Avenue from Bannock Street to Speer Boulevard will be closed for the Designated Parade Route, as will the southbound lanes of Speer Boulevard from Colfax Avenue to Larimer Street. The eastbound lanes of Colfax Avenue and the northbound lanes of Speer will remain open, but some slowdown in traffic flow is expected. The RTD light rail line which crosses Speer Boulevard at Stout Street will remain open at all times, including the time allocated for parades. Additional security provided by RTD will supplement law enforcement officials to ensure the safety of marchers when the light rail trains cross the parade route.
• While still accessible to pedestrians, vehicular traffic on the following blocks between 15th Street and Speer Boulevard will be limited to residents and employees from Monday, August 25 through Wednesday, August 27: Wazee, Wynkoop, Delgany, Wewatta, and Little Raven. (More details on residential and business access are below).
Given that the August 28 venue change from the Pepsi Center to Invesco Field at Mile High was just announced on July 7, roadway impacts – including the designated parade route to Invesco – for Thursday of Convention week have not yet been finalized and will be announced by early August.
RECOMMENDED ROUTE INFORMATION: Monday – Wednesday
The downtown grid has ample street capacity to absorb these manageable diversions and provide local residents and commuters with convenient access to and from downtown. Recommended routes for the four quadrants of the city are described below:
• EAST AND NORTHEAST: Drivers may access downtown from the east and northeast using Martin Luther King Blvd, 18th Avenue, 13th Avenue, and 8th Avenue.
• SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST: With northbound Speer Boulevard closed at Lawrence Street, drivers along Speer Boulevard south of Lawrence, as well as on Lincoln and Santa Fe, may experience slight increases in traffic. It is anticipated that slowing may occur on these streets as they cross Colfax Avenue. Commuters may want to use Downing, Clarkson, or Logan Street to avoid delays. Exiting Downtown may be slightly slower than normal due to Convention-related activities, but once traffic crosses Colfax Avenue, movement along Kalamath, Broadway, Grant, Washington and Corona/Downing should be similar to any normal weekday.
• WEST AND SOUTHWEST: Travelers may access downtown from the west and southwest using 6th Avenue or northbound I-25 to 20th Street. Traffic exiting downtown to the west and southwest may be a little slower than normal; however, with the combination of increased transit use and the absence of Auraria Campus traffic, any delays along Arapahoe, Champa, Glenarm and Colfax should be minimal. Once traffic reaches Kalamath, I-25, and 6th Avenue, travel should be similar to any normal weekday.
• NORTHWEST: Travelers can use I-25 to Park Ave West or 20th Street to access downtown. Traffic exiting downtown to the northwest should use 20th Street or Park Avenue to I-25.
Given that the August 28 venue change from the Pepsi Center to Invesco Field at Mile High was just announced on July 7, roadway impacts – and recommended alternative routes – for Thursday of Convention week have not yet been finalized and will be announced by early August.
RTD PUBLIC TRANSIT INFORMATION: Monday – Wednesday
The use of public transit is always encouraged, and downtown will be accessible by transit. The following information from the Regional Transportation District (RTD) applies to Monday, August 25 through Wednesday, August 27. Any transit impacts related to the Invesco Field event on Thursday, August 28 will be announced when they are finalized.
• LIGHT RAIL: Light rail lines coming into the Central Business District will not be disrupted, including lines D, F and H. There will be no light rail service to or from the Pepsi Center and Denver Union Station stops. Passengers on the C and E lines who want to travel downtown can transfer to the D, F and H lines. All C- and E-line light rail passengers will be required to disembark at the Invesco Field light rail stop.
• BUSES: RTD plans to run normal bus service during the Convention, adjusting routes impacted by street closures. RTD will provide information on these adjustments as they are finalized through its web site, the RTD Telephone Information Center, and information will be posted on buses and light rail.
RESIDENTIAL & BUSINESS ACCESS: Monday – Wednesday
Between street parking, parking lots and garages, downtown parking will be largely accessible.
• The majority of downtown street meters will remain unbagged and available for public use. (Please note that vehicles with disability placards may park at any unbagged meter for up to four hours – whether or not the meter is designated for disabled parking).
Because many commercial buildings directly adjacent to the Pepsi Center have been rented out by private organizations during the Convention week, only a few businesses will be impacted by the screening and access measures described below:
• Residents (and their caretakers or renters, if applicable) and businesses (and their employees) west of 15th Street along Wynkoop, Delgany and Wewatta will receive vehicle placards from the Secret Service enabling them to access their normally assigned parking spots. There will be no pedestrian restrictions in this area, so visitors will be able to come and go on foot.
• Residents (and their caretakers or renters, if applicable) in the small area bound by Speer Boulevard, Wazee Street and 14th Court will receive vehicle placards from Secret Service enabling them to park in their normally assigned parking spots after undergoing vehicle screening at a 24-hour checkpoint. There will be no pedestrian restrictions in this area, so visitors will be able to come and go on foot.
• Residents (and their caretakers or renters, if applicable) and businesses (and their employees) in the area bound by 11th Street, Auraria Parkway, Speer Boulevard and the Pepsi Center will receive personal credentials from the Secret Service, enabling them to come and go by foot with ease. Placards will also be provided for their vehicles enabling them to park in their normally assigned parking spots after undergoing vehicle screening at a 24-hour checkpoint. Individuals renting any of these units during the Convention may undergo the same registration process to obtain these access documents. Residents in this area expecting guests will be asked to meet them on the street and escort them into their building.
Beginning with a community meeting tonight hosted by the LoDo District, Inc., Downtown Denver Residents Organization, and the Lower Downtown Neighborhood Association, targeted outreach will take place in the coming weeks to residents, businesses, building managers and homeowners associations in the aforementioned areas, providing details on the registration/ credentialing process and answering questions about access and mobility. That outreach will also include another LoDo community meeting at Ocean Journey on July 23 from 6 – 8 p.m.
Five additional citywide community forums about DNC preparations and opportunities for local residents to participate – hosted by the City and County of Denver and the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee – will take place over the next three weeks:
Central Denver: July 26 (12 – 2:00 p.m.)
Curious Theatre, 1080 Acoma St.
SE Denver: July 28 (12 – 2:00 p.m.)
Temple Sinai, 3509 S. Glencoe St.
SW Denver: July 29 (5:30 – 7:30 p.m.)
SW Improvement Council, 1000 S. Lowell Blvd.
NW Denver: July 30 (5:30 – 7:30 p.m.)
North High School, 2960 N. Speer Blvd.
NE Denver: August 6 (5:30 – 7:30 p.m.)
Montview Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia St.
Once roadway impacts related to the Thursday, August 28 event at Invesco Field at Mile High are finalized, additional community outreach will be conducted to residents and businesses near the stadium.