DENVER (KDVR) — Motorists on a portion of Santa Fe Drive should plan to slow down when they come up to the stretch between Sixth Avenue and Colfax. The Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure announced Friday the speed limit will change from 30 to 25 miles per hour.

“What bothers me is when I’m sitting in my desk looking out the window and you have someone going down the street at 75 miles an hour,” said Andrea Barela, who owns a business on Santa Fe.

“Santa Fe has always been a major artery into downtown Denver,” Barela said.

Data from new safety improvements that went into place back in 2020 allowed the city to make the speed change. Some of those improvements include:

  • Reconfiguring Santa Fe from three travel lanes to two to calm traffic and reduce driver speeds; the reconfiguration added a five-foot buffer between the on-street parking spaces and existing sidewalk to provide people with more space and comfort to walk. 
  • Using posts and paint at intersections to shorten crossing distances for pedestrians. 
  • Installing treatments at corners to slow driver turns. 
  • Adding seating, planters, and lighting enhancements to improve pedestrian visibility, safety and comfort.

Santa Fe speed limit drop aims at pedestrian safety

Nancy Kuhn, the communications director for DOTI, said it’s pretty obvious how this section of Santa Fe it changes drastically. The goal is to keep pedestrians safe and give them room.

“These are people who aren’t protected by 1,000 of pounds of metal. These are people walking or scootering,” Kuhn said.

According to data from Vision Zero, five crashes since on this stretch of Santa Fe have involved serious bodily injury since 2013:

  • 1 involving people walking at Santa Fe and Sixth Avenue in 2014
  • 1 involving people walking near Ninth Avenue in 2014 
  • 1 involving a person on a motorcycle near 10th Avenue in 2016 
  • 1 involving people walking near 10th Avenue in 2017 
  • 1 involving a person on a motorcycle north of 13th Avenue in 2018 

Denver Police confirmed with FOX31 and Channel 2 that they will have increased patrol in the area because of the new speed limit. But they will allow drivers time to adjust and allow an awareness period for the new speed.