RTD, city taking input on how to revamp 35-year-old 16th Street Mall

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DENVER -- The 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver is 35 years old and it sees an increasing number of transit users and pedestrian traffic every day.

City officials and RTD want to revamp the area and are seeking the public's input.

The city and RTD have drafted three design concepts that would improve the mall's shuttles and walking areas.

On Wednesday, people can view the plans for each concept and share their thoughts on each one during an open house.

Each concept shows different versions of where the shuttles and pedestrian walkways would go, and how they fit in with amenities.

One proposed design will reconstruct the mall's aging infrastructure and keep the buses' current alignment with a median between the two lanes.

The second design will reconstruct the buses to run down the center, adding more space for pedestrians.

And the third plan shows buses running down the center in some areas and in other blocks, adding asymmetrical pedestrian areas.

People can also vote for no change to the mall.

City officials say each proposal offers different experiences and consider different factors in the redesign.

They hope the improvements will update deteriorating infrastructure, keep pedestrians and bus riders safe, and allow areas for outside dining and event space.

"The mall does have significant infrastructure needs and maintenance costs," said Andrea Burns with Denver Community Planning and Development. "At the same time, it's seeing increasing number of pedestrian users so now is really the time to take a holistic mall and think what it could be and how it could be better for the future.

We need to consider safety, we need to consider space for people to walk, space for the buses to run. We need to consider the underground infrastructure and how that can be improved."

The open houses will be held at noon and 5 p.m. Tuesday at RTD headquarters at 1600 Blake St.

More information can be found on the city's website.

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