Letter: Council should support the elevator option
For many years, this city council and prior city councils have given the highest priority to the beautification of Seventh Street, and rightly so. As a result of the city’s visionary efforts, restaurants and the Hotel Denver have chosen to locate, expand, improve, and invest along Seventh Street, and have added great vitality not only to Seventh Street but also to the whole downtown. Recent conceptual designs presented to the public have shown great potential for improvements to Seventh Street, including on-street restaurant seating and a enhanced pedestrian experience.
We urge the council to support the elevator option for the pedestrian bridge for two reasons.
First, aesthetics. The design of the elevator tower could provide a destination focal point for a gateway to downtown from the other side of the river. The design could enhance the pedestrian experience of Seventh Street corridor without blocking the views. A ramp on the other hand, would have a negative impact.
Second, ADA. The elevator provides a more practical access for people in wheelchairs or pushing baby strollers. With our past experience caring for elderly parents, it is difficult pushing a wheelchair up a long ramp as well as controlling it going down the ramp. The elevator is a much more user friendly and safer option. A well-thought-out design of the elevator could include features to improve safety and discourage vandalism.
An excellent example of a pedestrian bridge with elevators is the Millennium Bridge in downtown Denver. The bridge connects the Riverfront Park neighborhood over the railroad tracks to the new Union Station neighborhood transportation hub. For those of you familiar this bridge, you can see what a success it has been. Pedestrian bridges with elevators are common all over the United States as well as internationally.
We encourage the city council to seriously consider the benefits of an elevator as part of the pedestrian bridge project.
Kristen and Glenn Chadwick
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