Department of Transportation and Infrastructure updates timing of traffic lights in downtown Denver

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DENVER — Anyone who travels in downtown Denver experiences it; being stuck in traffic. It can often feel like we are stopped at every single red light on the street.

Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is hoping to change all that.

For the last year and a half, engineers have analyzed traffic patterns in about 200 intersections downtown, and on Saturday morning, they updated the timing of the traffic lights.

“From a driver perspective, you should be able to see less stops, that’s what we’re shooting for,” said Michael Finochio, an engineering manager for the transportation operation section.

They studied how new apartments and condos, an increase in population, added to the congestion, and how dedicated bus and bike lanes impact traffic flow. They also looked at light rail, and pedestrian traffic.

“We’re trying to get people to move in groups, called platoons, and they move down the corridor that way, and leave clear space for traffic to flow the other direction, and cross the street safely,” said Nancy Kuhn, of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Traffic signals downtown were last re-timed in 2011. Because of constant changes in the downtown area, they hope to reexamine the signal timing in about five years.

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