Public Works procedures aim to lessen construction impact

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In response to my efforts to alleviate construction project management issues throughout the city, Denver Public Works (DPW) has released updated procedures that aim to lessen construction impacts to residents and businesses. As of Feb. 1, contractors will now be required to include the following in their permit applications:

Traffic management plan for all transportation modes

• A contractor’s traffic control plan will be required to show how all modes will be provided safe and convenient detours around a project site. This includes: pedestrians, people on bikes and scooters, transit riders and drivers. Specifically, the traffic control plan will be required to have a strong focus on pedestrian safety.

• Additional barricades, signs and provisions for pedestrians will be required in the traffic control plan, which DPW must approve before the permit is issued.

Pedestrian canopies

• New permits: Pedestrian canopies will be required on projects where vertical construction is occurring directly adjacent to a pedestrian pathway (ex: multi-story building).

• Existing large projects will be reviewed to determine if any mobility improvements can be made.

Construction worker parking plan

• Large projects (greater than $100,000 and lasting longer than a week) will be required to submit a parking plan for their workers and their subcontractors’ workers who will access the construction site when requesting new or renewing existing right-of-way permits.

• The parking plan must aim to minimize impacts to surrounding businesses and residences.

• Workers can use the front of the project site for parking, but otherwise they must utilize off-site parking that the contractor will be required to provide.

• The lack of an approved parking plan will not allow right-of-way permits to be issued for a project.

Along with the above permitting requirements, the following policy and procedure improvements are being made:

Damage to infrastructure and streetscape

• The required construction performance bonds for every construction project will now be used to repair damage to infrastructure and streetscape to its original condition.

Parking management and enforcement

• License plate recognition equipment will be used

• Right-of-way enforcement staff salaries and benefits have been improved to reduce vacancies to allow for better enforcement.

Intersection and alley signage

• Signage at intersections and alleys where parking occupancy typically meets or exceeds 75 percent can now be requested through 311. This will help improve driver visibility when entering intersections and exiting alleys.

Construction coordination meetings

• Routine construction meetings will be held in areas under significant construction to coordinate project activities, such as street closures and meter management, that may affect retailers, the public and residents.

I continue to work on evaluating construction hours for noise and the use of a public inconvenience fee to further reduce the closures of sidewalks, bike lanes and streets.

In addition to the policy updates, later this spring, Denver Public Works will also propose changes to Denver’s Rules and Regulations for permitting construction projects in the public right-of-way. The proposed changes will update the current rules and regulations, which were written in 2007, to prioritize safe pedestrian and bike travel.

Denver Councilmember Wayne New represents District 10. The district covers north central Denver, including Capitol Hill, Congress Park and Cherry Creek. He can be reached at wayne.new@denvergov.org.

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