Littleton will undertake two pedestrian and bicycle safety improvement projects after securing a pair of grants from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
The first grant, for $1.1 million, will be put toward a series of projects focusing on the Jackass Hill neighborhood east of Santa Fe Drive and north of Mineral Avenue.
The project consists of numerous phases:
Reconstructing the intersection of Jackass Hill Road and Mineral Avenue to improve pedestrian crossing safety
Buffering the bike lanes along Mineral Avenue and Jackass Hill Road from traffic
Improving signage and crossing safety where the High Line Canal crosses Mineral Avenue
Paving the Jackass Gulch Trail between the High Line Canal and Jackass Hill Road
Installing a path connecting the Palisade neighborhood to Mineral Avenue, replacing the informal dirt path currently there
The projects are intended to improve the accessibility of the Mineral RTD Light Rail station across Santa Fe from the Jackass Hill neighborhood, according to city documents. The Mineral Avenue crossing represents a chokepoint in local bike and pedestrian mobility because of a long stretch of elevated railroad tracks in the area.
The second grant, for $615,000, will go toward a project to install flashing beacons and other pedestrian safety improvements on the Prince Street Bridge from Church Avenue to Lake Avenue, which crosses over the railroad tracks on the hill behind Arapahoe Community College.
The bridge is a vital connection between the Downtown RTD Light Rail station and the neighborhood to the south, including a connection to the Colorado School for the Blind, where students rely heavily on public transit.
The safety improvements are part of a larger, ongoing effort that calls for the eventual widening and restriping of the bridge.
The two grants are part of the Safer Main Streets Initiative, a joint project of CDOT and the Denver Regional Council of Governments.
Kicked off in 2020, the initiative seeks to improve safety and accessibility on urban arterial roads to pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and people with disabilities.
Stated goals of the project include reducing injuries and fatalities of non-car users of busy urban road and improving the functionality and usability of public transit.
The program handed out $58.9 million in its first year, giving out 30 grants in the Denver and Boulder regions.
“Given the challenging circumstances of 2020, and the impacts on municipal transportation funding, the Safer Main Streets Grants are helping Littleton make critical safety upgrades that otherwise may have been delayed for several years," city public works director Keith Reester said in a statement.