Improvements to Union Station making area safer for the community
In early 2022, then-Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and RTD General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson announced a partnership between the city and county of Denver and RTD to reclaim the public space of Denver Union Station (DUS). The station, like most of downtown, was affected by the pandemic and other societal issues plaguing U.S. cities.
Since the announcement, RTD and the city have made a positive impact by implementing measures of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). CPTED is not just about designing better places, it also includes the participation of individuals in the public space under the principle of eyes-on-the-street, where police, security personnel and citizens actively participate in making places more defensible and, therefore, safer and more livable.
In addition to increasing security at DUS, RTD identified 20 improvement projects most of which have been completed. As a result, crime and arrests have diminished, and the sense of safety and security has improved.
RTD has cleaned up the underground bus concourse, installed directional railings, signage and reconfigured circulation patterns to prevent criminal activity.
RTD has completed design to improve and control the access to the bus concourse and proposes to expand Wewatta and Chestnut pavilions to provide improved ticket vending and access queueing. A similar measure has been designed at the bus transfer level to improve the access from commuter rail Track 1. Additionally, RTD is currently at 50% design to upgrade the lighting within the bus transfer facility. Both projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2024.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, RTD and the city implemented crime mitigation measures that resulted in the fencing and alteration of the Wewatta and Chestnut pavilion landscape features. RTD has now completed design and is entering into contract with a contractor to implement those changes. In the meantime, RTD has installed banners to announce the upcoming project.
In early 2024, the banners and temporary fencing will be removed after large planters have been installed in the area. Seasonal native plants will be added to the planters in early spring 2024. This landscape project is part of RTD’s efforts to create a welcoming transit environment.