DENVER (CBS4) – The City of Denver is trying to make the 16th Street Mall a more inviting place by adding more than 180 street lights along the pedestrian mall.
Mayor Michael Hancock announced on Tuesday that the city has finalized plans for the installation of 182 new street lights along the 16th Street Mall. The $1.9 million price tag for the project is coming from the Downtown TIF funds distributed by the Denver Urban Renewal Authority.READ MORE: Debris Flow Onto I-70 Was So Powerful, It Diverted The Flow Of The Colorado River
“We’ve known that the mall lighting that’s out here now has been inadequate and outdated technology for the last 20,” John Desmond, Executive Vice President of Downtown Environment for the Downtown Denver Partnership, told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “The new fixtures will look just like the old fixtures, but they will be designed with modern technology, so they will be LED lighting.”
The new lights will reduce energy usage and costs by upwards of 50 percent, according to Desmond. He said the new fixtures will also replace lights that have been removed over time because of vehicle collisions. Other lights will be added at critical locations to restore the balance of pedestrian lighting along the mall.
“The reality is the 16th Street Mall is a critical connector in our city, one in which we cannot allow to continue to be challenged, particularly around the safety element,” Hancock told CBS4. “We believe the mall is still safe for people to enjoy, but we know we can do better.”READ MORE: Alex Ewing Murder Trial: Jury To Resume Deliberations After Telling Judge They Reached 'Impasse'
Denver City Council must approve of the plan before the lights can be installed. The plan is expected to go before the council on March 7 and, if approved, installation would begin in May and wrap up by September. Desmond does not believe the lighting plan will be left in the dark.
“We believe this is a win, win, win for everybody,” he said. “We’re addressing the safety concerns while still maintaining sort of the iconic landmark quality of the mall which is important to us.”
Downtown Denver Partnership president and CEO Tami Door echoed the importance of the new lighting in a statement released Tuesday.MORE NEWS: Denver Public Safety Manager Murphy Robinson Accuses City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca's Chief Of Staff Of Discriminating Against A White Staff Member
“The 16th Street Mall is one of our most vital connectors and important public spaces, and as the Mall ages we recognize the importance of improving Mall infrastructure while maintaining important elements of its iconic design. As many as 70,000 people walk or ride the shuttle on the Mall on any given day, and we’ve heard loud and clear that improving lighting is one of the most important things we can do to improve upon the feeling of safety Downtown. Thank you to the City and the Denver Urban Renewal Authority for partnering with us on this important project.”