It was just a couple of days ago we published our first post on the new CDOT Headquarters building proposed next to the Decatur-Federal transit station. Today, we have a quick update due to having received a few new renderings that more clearly show the proposed structure. Thank you to everyone at CDOT and RNL Design for providing the new images!
Landscaped plaza and rain garden at the southeast corner of the project:
Overhead view looking northwest:
We can see clearly from these new renderings that the main pedestrian entry to the building is at the southeast corner, putting it in a good location for access to the light rail station across the street. However, let’s take a closer look at the site and the issue of pedestrian access to the train station:
The nearest crosswalks over W. Howard Place are at Federal and at Decatur. No one leaving the CDOT building, and I mean no one, is going to walk over to either Federal or Decatur to cross the street via the crosswalk to get to the transit station. They will either cut through the tree lawn immediately south of the building entry and cross the street there, or follow the diagonal sidewalk to the corner of the property next to the access drive and then cross the street. Neither of these situations is considered safe and both would be technically jaywalking, right? With increased automobile traffic along W. Howard Place after the building opens, and with RTD buses using the street to access the station’s bus gates, providing a safe way for CDOT employees and guests to cross the street conveniently from the building entry is critical.
Here’s where CDOT, RTD, and the City can prove their commitment to prioritizing pedestrians over vehicles, encouraging transit ridership, and working towards Vision Zero: 1. Add a sidewalk across the tree lawn immediately south of the building entry to connect to the sidewalk along the north side of W. Howard Place; and 2. Add a mid-block crosswalk directly at that point to provide pedestrians with convenient and safe access between the building entry and the transit station. You know, something like this:
Is that messy from a traffic engineering perspective? Probably. Will it cost a little extra money? Most likely. Is it the right thing to do? Definitely.