As Denver's 16th Street Mall approaches its 25th anniversary in October, local officials and business leaders are exploring upgrades that could include replacement of granite pavers in the bus lanes with concrete or even swapping out buses for streetcars.That would be very cool and would allow the streetcars to be extended eventually to points all over the Denver first ring. Denver Infill even sees a web of streetcars (It would be cool to see a map of this)
Another solution discussed in the article is replacing the Mall shuttle busses with streetcars. This is ultimately the best solution for several reasons. Installing a streetcar line along Colfax has been gaining strong momentum over the past few years, and upgrading the Mall shuttle to a streetcar line would be the logical first step in that direction. With the 16th Street Mall ending right at Colfax, future streetcar extensions east and west along Colfax from Civic Center Station could easily follow. Next, the proposed Downtown Circulator along 18th, 19th, Broadway and Lincoln, could be implemented as a streetcar or, at least, upgraded to a streetcar line as soon as possible, as has been discussed.Very cool. It will give some of the closer in neighborhood some rail options and possibly connect some of the more vacant large parcels. I also heard something about a perpendicular bus mall to the 16th street mall this week when I was in Denver. Might be an interesting addition.
RTD is also considering replacing the Welton Street light rail line with a streetcar line, running from the planned 40th & 40th Station down to the 20th & Welton Station, if not all the way to Civic Center Station. RTD also proposed (but dropped from the FasTracks program) a transit connection between the Broadway Station and Civic Center along Broadway/Lincoln. An extension of the Downtown Circulator streetcar line from 12th Avenue to the Broadway Station would be a no-brainer.
Also as a side, here are some photos from my few days in Denver.
Here is a sunset picture I took from the Bellview Light Rail Station.
Another At Bellview in the tunnel that goes under the road to the elevators. This was really fun with a flash camera.
A lot of people use the C Line to get to special events. These folks were coming from a Rockies Game.
Man I wish the Bellview Station was on the other side of the road. There would have been some great Transit Orientation. You can see the freeway at right. In the photo after, it shows the view from the station (with a cool cloud formation) to the development the transit might have served better.
There is also no gambling on Light Rail, suprisingly