Shiny, Happy Places

Denver’s most compelling residential areas have something more appealing—and more meaningful—than uncertain appreciation values: They offer a true sense of community.

May 2011

Home Improvements

As other similar projects take hold around town—such as the widening of sidewalks and elimination of automobile lanes along 14th Street, and the pedestrian-friendly makeover around Civic Center Park—we got to thinking about where such efforts could improve the flow between neighborhoods in other parts of Denver. Here, our brainstorms:

  1. First Avenue, Cherry Creek
    A pedestrian bridge that ran above the hectically multilane artery would move people more freely between the Cherry Creek Shopping Center (and its nearby bike paths) and Cherry Creek North.
  2. Park Hill and Stapleton
    These two evolving and new-urbanist-friendly neighborhoods should be cozier but are separated by the perilously traversable Quebec Street. Another pedestrian/bike bridge or safer crosswalks would free up commuting—and commerce—in both directions.
  3. Highland
    A long-debated light rail line running along 38th Avenue would enhance that street’s sometimes shabby commercial properties, decrease auto traffic, and enhance an already terrific neighborhood. (The planned streetcar revival along Colfax Avenue would have a similar effect by improving the street’s perpetually downtrodden pockets.)
  4. Uptown
    The already hopping 17th Street would truly shine if we replaced the underdeveloped (and over-parking-lotted) gaps along the street with more bike lanes, widened sidewalks, and developed mixed-use properties to fill in the dead spots between downtown and City Park.