38th Avenue

38th Plan Logo_thumb.jpg

In an effort to improve and revitalize west 38th Avenue between Wadsworth and Sheridan, City Council adopted the 38th Avenue Corridor Plan in October 2011. This plan sets the framework for a vibrant main street, which will encourage new businesses and offer new opportunities for the community. The plan and appendices are posted below.

Plan Implementation–Road Diet

38th Avenue Wheat Ridge CO
Example of a temporary amenity zone
One major implementation step is restriping the street into a 3-lane section–often referred to as a “road diet”.  Between Upham and Depew Streets, the road will be restriped so that there is one thru-lane in each direction and one continuous center turn lane.The restriping will create room to add amenities to the street that are intended to make 38th Avenue look and feel more like a main street. The new amenities will include on-street parking as well as temporary extensions to the sidewalk, or “temporary amenity zones.”  The image above is from Louisville, Colorado, and is an example of what a temporary amenity zone might look like.Road diets like the one proposed for 38th Avenue have already been implemented on similar streets throughout the country. The changes to the street are part of the revitalization strategy and could bring benefits such as fewer accidents, slower traffic speeds, and better pedestrian access.

Road Diet Resources

Plan Implementation–Leadership Committee

Another important implementation step is the formation of the 38th Avenue Leadership Committee, which will include businesses and property owners on the corridor, as well as residents who live near the street. The Leadership Committee is envisioned to take the lead on some key recommendations in the plan, including the development of a corridor-wide marketing strategy. If you are interested in learning more about this committee, please contact Britta Fisher at LocalWorks (720) 259-1030.


General Resources

To learn more about the restriping project and to view draft designs, visit the Public Works West 38th Avenue Lane Reconfiguration web page.

Resource: City of Wheat Ridge

 38th Avenue Revitalization Messages

February 9, 2012

38th Avenue is Wheat Ridge’s Main Street.

• Revitalizing 38th Avenue gives our community the opportunity to make 38th Avenue a more attractive Main Street in use and feel.

• Beautification of 38th Avenue will draw the consumer eye and make the street more pedestrian and bicycle friendly as well as safer for cars.

• The vision is to have a place that people want to come to, not only drive through.


Revitalizing 38th Avenue involves safety and parking improvements to the street

• Travelers will see amenities like planters, sidewalk extensions, patios and landscaping.

• There will be additional on-street parking added all along the corridor.

• Pedestrians will experience sidewalks abutting parking, patios and landscaping rather than a travel lane on the south side of 38th Avenue.

• There will a safer crosswalk near the middle school and another near King Soopers.

• It will be safer to make left hand turns in your vehicle along 38th Avenue.


Three basic changes will happen to the driving lanes currently on 38th; these are often called a “road diet.”

• One of the existing lanes will be repurposed for on-street parking and new amenities beautifying the street and drawing the eye.

• There will be a center turn lane from Upham to Depew with one travel lane in each direction.

• At major intersections, like Pierce and Harlan, there will also be right-hand turn lanes and bus pull outs.


Businesses do better when these types of street improvements are made with additional activity.

• Drivers have better visibility and can more easily notice our businesses and patronize them.

• Cyclists will have a dedicated bike lane between Upham and Pierce, near Wheat Ridge Cyclery.

• Other communities have experienced increased property values and sales tax revenues after a road diet.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does the City need to take private property to make these improvements? The City is NOT taking any private property to make the right-of-way wider for the road diet. If there were a more permanent road diet in the future, there is an option in the plan that fits within the existing right-of-way.

Is the City taking away private business parking or driveways? The City is not removing any access points or driveways on 38th Avenue without property owner consent. Some businesses are electing to work with the City on access enhancements that will improve their parking and the flow for their business. No private parking is being taken away, rather many businesses will have on-street parking added in front of their business.

Were emergency vehicles considered in this plan? The new design of the street will accommodate emergency vehicles and has been reviewed by Exempla-Lutheran Hospital, Wheat Ridge Fire District, and the Wheat Ridge Police Department

Will these improvements make 38th Avenue congested? Traffic congestion is not anticipated to dramatically increase. Road Diets that result in a 3-lane section often work on streets that carry between 15,000 and 20,000 cars. 38th Avenue carries around 16,000 – 18,000 cars. A detailed traffic analysis for 38th Avenue showed that the 3-lane section could add a maximum of 50-60 seconds for cars traveling from Wadsworth to Sheridan during the morning and evening rush hours.

Will the road diet reduce the number of cars on the street? Based on a detailed traffic analysis, the number of cars that use 38th Avenue each day is not anticipated to decrease.

Are you trying to make it difficult for cars to travel 38th Avenue? No. The purpose of the road diet is to create a street that accommodates all modes of travel – cars, pedestrians, and bikes. It is NOT intended to reduce the number of cars on the street or to try to force people to stop driving. The larger point is that we want to make it more attractive for cars to stop, park and spend time and money in Wheat Ridge.

Are you trying to push out any existing businesses from 38th Avenue? Revitalization of the corridor means attracting new businesses and supporting ALL of the existing businesses. Our hope is that all businesses will experience increased sales. The 38th Avenue Corridor Plan calls for rezoning the corridor to mixed use. All existing auto uses would remain and some new auto uses would be allowed under the proposed zoning.

How is the City paying for the road diet and enhancements made to the street? All of the items associated with the roadway improvements – restriping the street, new planters, and extensions to the sidewalk – are part of the City Council approved 2012 Capital Investment Program (CIP).

Did the City consider adding amenities to 38th Avenue, such as the streetscape amenities currently in place from Harlan to Sheridan, without reducing the number of travel lanes on the street? Yes, this option was considered during the planning process. However it was ruled out quickly since there is not room next to the existing sidewalk between Harlan and Wadsworth to add amenities such as trees, planters, or benches without taking private property. The road diet option, by removing a travel lane in each direction, creates room to add amenities without taking private property.

Besides road improvements, what can I expect to see along 38th Avenue? In partnership with the business community, there will be a branding and marketing effort to help attract people to 38th Avenue. You can expect to see new events and promotions along 38th Avenue. Also, as more businesses get excited about our community’s vision, we hope you will see new building improvements and business enhancements. We also hope to see business expansion and investment.

What can I do to make 38th Avenue a success? Please shop, support our businesses and tell your friends about any great experiences you have. We have many gems along 38th Avenue and a small-town charm with business operators who are personable and care about their customers.

Where can I learn more about other communities that have done a road diet?

Successful Road Diet case studies (also see list on City’s website: www.ci.wheatridge.co.us/38thAve)

o Tacoma Street – Portland, Oregon

o Fourth Plain Boulevard – Vancouver, Washington

o Clematis Street – West Palm Beach, Florida