Public input has been an important part of the plan development process.

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2 Lakewood s Comprehensive Plan recognizes that transportation helps shape the community, and that the way the community provides for the safe and efficient movement of people affects the character of the City and the citizens quality of life. The Downtown Lakewood Connectivity and Urban Design Plan establishes a vision, recommendations, and implementation steps that ensure improved pedestrian, bike, and transit access is provided within the downtown area. An additional goal of the plan is to adequately address the future connectivity needs to nearby light rail stations, and to and from adjacent residential neighborhoods surrounding downtown. A stakeholder committee was established to direct the creation of the plan and the associated recommendations. The committee consisted of major downtown area property owners; representatives from the Alameda Gateway Community Association, Colorado Christian University, the Regional Transportation District, the Denver Regional Council of Governments, and the Colorado Department of Transportation; downtown area residents and business owners; Planning Commission and City Council members; and City staff. The stakeholder committee held five meetings during the development of the plan. In addition to the stakeholder meetings, four open houses were held to gather input from the public and business and property owners within the study area. Additional meetings were held with smaller groups of business owners and representatives, and neighborhood representatives. PUBLIC OUTREACH Public input has been an important part of the plan development process. In October of 2012, a web survey was made available to the public on the City s website. The survey was also made available on computers at the first open house for the project, also in October of The results of the survey will be provided as an appendix to the plan. The open houses were held in October of 2012, and January, April and June of The open houses allowed the public to comment on work the consultants had completed, and to recommend changes to the work. PLAN GOALS Through stakeholder and public input, four primary goals were developed for the Downtown Lakewood Connectivity and Urban Design Plan. The goals were:

3 1. Create a more pedestrian friendly environment by enhancing pedestrian and bicycle access across the barriers of Wadsworth Boulevard and Alameda Avenue, and to and from adjacent neighborhoods, and reducing the use of personal automobiles. 2. Increase the visual identity of Downtown Lakewood and awareness of its cultural, civic and recreational resources, and leverage economic benefit through the development of a strong urban design character and style. 3. Balance mobility options in Downtown Lakewood: bicycle, pedestrian, transit and auto, and increase multi-modal connections to the W Rail Line stations and neighboring destinations. 4. Create a unified, informative and effective way-finding system for Downtown Lakewood. PLAN RECOMMENDATIONS The Downtown Lakewood Connectivity and Urban Design Plan recommends a wide variety of solutions to goals as outlined above. The major recommendations are summarized below: To improve vehicular and non-vehicular access across both Wadsworth Boulevard and Alameda Avenue through various intersection and street modifications: o Removing traffic lanes and adding bike lanes to Ohio Avenue between Wadsworth Boulevard and Vance Street, and modifying the intersection of Wadsworth Boulevard and Ohio Avenue to better facilitate bicycle traffic. It is also recommended that the pedestrian crosswalks be highlighted with colored paving or paint to visually alert drivers to the pedestrian activity. o Modifying traffic lanes and introducing pedestrian refuge islands at the intersection of Wadsworth Boulevard and Virginia Avenue. Enhanced pedestrian crosswalks are also recommended at this intersection. Additionally, it is recommended that one of the northbound Wadsworth left turn lanes be eliminated to reduce pedestrian-vehicular conflicts (this modification would need to be accomplished in tandem with the Alaska Drive improvements described below). o Providing a pedestrian crossing of Wadsworth Boulevard at Alaska Drive. This pedestrian crossing could be at-grade in the short-term, and grade-separated in the long-term. To meet the warrants required by the Colorado Department of Transportation, a left turn

4 lane from northbound Wadsworth Boulevard to Alaska Drive would be developed. This pedestrian crossing would be signalized and include enhanced crosswalks. Additional development and redevelopment would likely be required on either side of Wadsworth Boulevard to fully meet the warrants for this pedestrian crossing (see page 14 of the plan). o Modifying Alameda Avenue by adding a large landscaped median to the street, providing dual left turn lanes from eastbound Alameda to Saulsbury Street, and eliminating eastbound left turns to Teller Street. These improvements will allow for the development of a significant north-south crossing of Alameda Avenue at Teller Street. The Teller Street intersection would include a pedestrian refuge within the median and fewer pedestrian-vehicle conflicts due to the elimination of the left turn lane. These improvements should better connect the neighborhoods north of Alameda Avenue to downtown. o Modify the intersection of Alameda Avenue and Yarrow Street to remove the southbound Yarrow to eastbound Alameda turning movement, and replace it with a westbound Alameda to southbound Yarrow movement. This improvement will help eliminate vehicular congestion at the intersection of Alameda Avenue and Allison Parkway, as well as the Lakewood City Commons entrance from Allison therefore improving the pedestrian environment in the area. Increasing and improving pedestrian access from the neighborhoods to the east of downtown through the development of a pedestrian walkway between Belmar and Pierce Street near Jefferson Place and enhancing the existing pedestrian access between Belmar and Pierce Street at the eastern end of Alaska Drive. Improving the visual appearance of the roadway edges of both Wadsworth Boulevard and Alameda Avenue through the development of uniform streetscapes and sidewalks. Providing Downtown Lakewood identification signs at key locations throughout the area. A signature gateway sign is recommended at the southwest corner of the Wadsworth Boulevard and Alameda Avenue intersection. Other smaller, but important identity signs are recommended along Wadsworth Boulevard near Kentucky and Virginia Avenues. Upgrading existing private development signage to reflect a more uniform Downtown Lakewood style. Replacement signage should also reflect the urban design character identified in the plan.

5 SUMMARY Providing a well-planned and robust way-finding sign program throughout the Downtown Lakewood area. 34 way-finding signs or kiosks are recommended to provide directions to significant elements of the downtown area, such as the Lakewood Cultural Center, the Heritage Center, the Belmar Library and Belmar Park. Enhancements to signage and access to the two transit centers located within the downtown area at the Lakewood Civic Center and at Belmar Square Park. Providing direct transit connections between the W Rail Line station at 13 th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard and Downtown Lakewood. The plan recommends that the three types of technology be considered for this connection. A possible connection to the Federal Center W Rail Line station might also be considered in the future. Providing bicycle and car share opportunities within the downtown area, with potential extensions to the W Rail Line stations at 13 th Avenue and Wadsworth, Garrison Street, and the Federal Center. Stations at private employers, such as Kaiser Permanente facility along Alameda Avenue and Colorado Christian University should also be considered. Funding for the improvements proposed in the Downtown Lakewood Connectivity and Urban Design Plan could come from a number of sources, including publicprivate partnerships, public financing mechanisms, or a business improvement district. Some improvements could also be implemented as continued private sector development and redevelopment occurs within the area. At the October 9, 2013 Planning Commission Study Session, the Commission recommended that staff forward the Connectivity and Urban Design Plan to a public hearing for consideration as an amendment to the Lakewood Comprehensive Plan, subject to a few modifications regarding the gateway monument sign proposal. The Plan has been modified to address the Planning Commission comments. A final draft copy of the Downtown Lakewood Connectivity and Urban Design Plan is attached for your review. If you have any questions prior to the November 6th public hearing, please feel free to contact me at or

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