Central City, Colorado

Downtown Connectivity and Circulation Capital Improvement Plan

Location: Central City, Colorado
Completed Date: December 2015
Lead Consultant: Alta Planning & Design
Partner: City of Central City


Defined by a compact grid of narrow streets, Central City’s historic downtown is characteristic of development from the 1800’s. Designed for travel by foot and horse, Central City’s streets now accommodate significant volumes of local traffic accessing the downtown and through traffic accessing heavily traveled Highway 119 and Central City Parkway. The intersections and pedestrian facilities within the downtown provide critical links into the residential neighborhoods, commercial areas, and recreational amenities. Central City desires to enhance mobility within the downtown to improve safety, increase walking and bicycling, encourage redevelopment, and enhance the quality of life for both the residents and visitors of this historic place.

Participants engage in a walk audit

Key Activities:

Partnering with Alta Planning & Design, an active transportation planning and design firm, Community Builders facilitated a two-day site visit and developed a Capital Improvement Plan for the downtown. An intensive stakeholder design charrette process, held in October 2015, identified priorities for a revitalized downtown that incorporates multimodal facilities and amenities. The process focused on identifying the best locations within the downtown for physical multimodal improvements, and produced conceptual designs that present options for Main Street and surrounding roadway circulation.


City Council adopted the Plan following completion, and immediately implemented some of the improvements.  In FY16, the City put just over $100k into sidewalk and roadway improvements within the downtown.  They have also made improvements to all crosswalks in town, including the addition of a new crosswalk between the Century Casino Parking Garage and Johnny Z’s Casino (the “problem” crosswalk identified in the report) with flashing/lighted signs. The City also eliminated some on-street parking spaces to improve delivery truck parking and loading/unloading.  And, beginning in November 2016, the City is commencing with a pilot project that temporarily changes the direction of traffic on Main Street. 

As for FY17, the City is currently in the process of appropriating funds for a re-engineered / re-designed plan for large-scale improvements to Main Street. They also will be spending an additional $200k on sidewalk and roadway repairs throughout the downtown. 

Cantral City's narrow streets

Key Recommendations:

  • Design options to address the “T Lot, and “Bubble Intersection,” a challenging area of the downtown where a popular surface parking lot is divorced from the rest of the downtown due to a tricky three-way intersection. Included in these alternatives are potential ways to alter traffic circulation for improved safety. Each alternative poses significant trade-offs that need to be vetted by the City before moving forward.
  • Pedestrian crossing improvements at key locations.
  • Develop a unified wayfinding plan to improve the visitor experience and provide direction to key amenities


Read the CIP 

Read the Circulation Study


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