Forest City to Install Diagonal Crosswalks at Key Stapleton Intersections

pedestrian scrambleStapleton potentially has the highest percentage of stop signs at intersections than any neighborhood in Denver. But, all of these controlled intersections haven’t properly controlled the Stapleton pedestrian traffic. “You see residents crossing diagonally in intersections all the time,” said resident Jim Schwab. “Not only is it not safe, but it is inefficient for pedestrians and automobiles. They need to make sure pedestrians are crossing crosswalks appropriately, or do something about it.”

The Denver transportation department has decided to put in a series of diagonal crosswalks in Stapleton, which formerly were used in downtown Denver. “Denver was the first city to have the diagonal crosswalks, commonly known as the pedestrian scramble,” said Denver traffic engineer Tony Klagges. “But, we eventually realized that it was completely unnecessary, and caused massive traffic delays, so we removed them from the city.” Klagges says they are willing to try them in Stapleton as a ‘new urbanism’ experiment. “We know Stapleton is not really living up to being a biking or walking community,” said Kagges. “Maybe the diagonal crosswalks will motivate people to do more walking, biking, skating or scooting. We are at least willing to give it a shot, and since people are doing it anyway, let’s just have them installed and put to use.”

The first test of the new system will be at 26th and Beeler. “The studies we have conducted show that this intersection is most commonly crossed diagonally by community members,” said Klagges. “It will kind of be a roadmap for us regarding whether we keep it in and continue to add more, or if we take it down.” Klagges says that the crosswalk signage should be up as soon as the first week of July. “We want people to know it is available and functional before school starts,” said Klagges. “Then, when school opens at Westerly Creek and Bill Roberts in the fall, it will hopefully be heavily used.” Klagges is unsure if the new crosswalk will be annoying to drivers. “You know, we never really thought about that. Huh. Good point though.”

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