Downtown Lakewood Connectivity plan on main street

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Connectivity is a key part of revamping downtown Lakewood, and some of the options for improving it were on display at the Council Chambers on Jan. 22.

The open house was the second public meeting as part of the city’s Downtown Lakewood Connectivity and Urban Design Plan, which aims to not only better provide connectivity in the area, but also implement design standards to make it feel like a more unified downtown.

“This is one piece of the larger project, and while we are looking at both connectivity and urban design, tonight we’re focusing on transportation,” said principal planner with the city, Rob Smetana.

The area designated as downtown Lakewood encompasses the Belmar shopping and living area, Lakewood City Commons, properties on the north side of Alameda Avenue between Carr and Pierce streets, the city’s civic center area and Belmar Park, and the living area south of Belmar to Ohio Avenue.

Tables were set up with maps of the area, focusing on Wadsworth Boulevard and some of its intersections like Alaska Drive and West Ohio Avenue.

Maps of Alameda Avenue, Teller and Pierce streets were also on display. Visitors had a chance to see some of the proposed changes to each area and speak with planners about their concerns and suggestions. Recommended changes depend on the intersection or area, and vary from new signals and crossings to mediums and circulation modifications.

“The project is designed to enhance downtown Lakewood through transit connections, and we want to make it more comfortable for bikes and pedestrians,” said Beth Vogelsang, consulting project manager with OV Consulting.

Vogelsang said the city conducted an online survey for residents and they identified three key issues: Enhanced pedestrian and bike access on Wadsworth, improved neighborhood connections to the downtown area and direct connections to the West Rail Line stations.

She said that the Wadsworth and Garrison stations are key in relation to getting to downtown Lakewood, and RTD is working on enhancing service to the area.

The next meeting will add a focus on the urban design element of the project, and will be sometime in April.

For more information on the Downtown Lakewood Connectivity and Urban Design Plan, visit www.lakewood.org/downtownlakewood.