Traffic. It’s a rare day of living Downtown that goes by without seeing a wreck, a near wreck, a near collision between car and pedestrian, an actual collision between car and person, or bus and person or bicycle, or bicycle and person. At the very least, every day will show the Downtown pedestrian as either very careful or very careless about street crossing lights, cars making illegal u-turns, and hundreds of bicycles on the narrow sidewalks where they are just not legal.
So, what the heck. For the next three weeks (23 days, actually, starting on Saturday) let’s add a few hundred more cars to the mix!
And, that’s what RTD is doing as part of the Light Rail platform re-location at Union Station. No trains at all to Union Station from Saturday morning until August 15. And, no trains from the south to Downtown on weekends until then either. If you want to come downtown…drive. If you want to come to a Rockies game…drive. If you commute to work by rail…many of you will choose to drive.
The tracks have to be moved from their current location to the new platform and that is a massive project. We hope they finish on time. Old tracks out, new extension of 16th Street in, new tracks in, turn on the electricity.
And, yes, RTD will provide their ever-popular “Bus Bridges” from 10th and Osage into Downtown and the other stations being missed. That’s not a particularly appealing mode for most travelers, especially those on a schedule. And, yes, commuters can come into Downtown Monday-Friday by rail. But, those trains are already crowded, and if one needs to get back to the Union Station area…well, what better way to start the day than a hot packed Mall Shuttle?
People will drive. Traffic will get more congested for those weeks. More cars, more opportunities for mayhem. Then, it will end and new patterns will emerge with the new rail location, longer Shuttle rides, longer walks to the train.
Our best advice: Be careful crossing the streets!