Improvements for Josephine and York Coming to Elyria-Swansea

By Allen Cowgill

Josephine Street and York Street in Elyria-Swansea will be getting shortterm safety improvements this year, with planning for significant, longer-term improvements also underway. At a recent meeting at Geotech Environmental Equipment, the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) shared plans as well as the process for a long-term vision for the streets.

The project incorporates parts of both Josephine Street and York Street between Colfax Avenue and 47th Avenue.

For this work, DOTI is labeling the section of these roads between 40th Avenue and 47th Avenue as “segment A,” and short-term improvements are scheduled for later this year. The improvements will include reduced pedestrian crossing distances, ADA-compliant curb ramp improvements, changes to traffic signals and intersection operations, and the implementation of traffic-calming measures intended to slow down drivers on the streets.

The improvements will align with DOTI’s repaving of the streets. For the longer-term changes, DOTI will meet with a stakeholder group from the community, have two additional public meetings, and have representatives at neighborhood events and meetings to gather more feedback on what the community would like to see on the streets in the future.

The Josephine and York streets corridor from 40th to 47th avenues is slated to see some safety improvements in the near future. Photo by Allen Cowgill

That stakeholder group has already met with DOTI and expressed a desire for the corridor to prioritize multimodal options, safety and be environmental resiliency. In addition, DOTI will incorporate past neighborhood plans like the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood plan from 2015, as well as other neighborhood input that has called for better pedestrian connections and improved sidewalks.

The community meeting had about 10-12 residents in the room and about 40 people watching online. A few residents brought up the need for better north-south connections on Josephine and York streets, especially so residents could better connect to the 39th Avenue Greenway trail.

As mentioned in previous community feedback, residents also brought up the desire for Josephine Street and York streets to be turned into two-way roads, and for Josephine to be made friendly for people who walk and bike, and for freight traffic to be limited to York Street.

During the meeting, the owner of a business located on York Street gave feedback that the road is currently very unsafe, especially for kids, and that he has serious concerns for the safety of people on the road.

Allen Cowgill is the Denver City Council District 1 appointee for the Denver DOTI Advisory Board.

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