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Stories Along the Line: Heart of Westminster

As RTD FasTracks develops its bus rapid transit service along U.S. 36, our first series of stories offers a snapshot of some things you might see (or not) along this ribbon of highway. We hope you enjoy the ride.

Before you board this bus

The U.S. 36 bus rapid transit (BRT) service is part of the FasTracks plan and connects travelers between downtown Denver and Boulder along 18 miles of U.S. 36 with stops at six stations while passing through the cities of Westminster, Broomfield, Superior and Louisville.

Between I-25 in Adams County and Foothills Parkway in Boulder, U.S. 36 is one of the busiest highways in Colorado. This major transit corridor links universities,
federal laboratories, corporations, retail, employment centers and cities. In
addition, growing residential areas and heavy tourism have increased congestion
and travel times.

The view of the Westminster Station at U.S. 36 and Sheridan Blvd. July 3, 2013
The Westminster Station at U.S. 36 and Sheridan Blvd.

According to the 2012 U.S. 36 Mobility Report, (published by 36 Commuting Solutions, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing mobility for commuters
along the corridor), more than 151,000 drivers use U.S. 36 for their daily commute and 9,000 or 6.2 percent use transit. In 2012, there were nearly 3.1 million trips taken on RTD routes along U.S. 36 representing a 4.4 percent increase over the previous year.

RTD and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) are currently working
to extend the U.S. 36 express lanes between Federal Blvd. and Table Mesa to accommodate RTD buses, high occupancy vehicles and tolled single occupancy vehicles.

First Stop: Westminster Center US 36 & Sheridan

More than 1,000 people every weekday board RTD buses here and nearly 500 buses per day pull in and out of this station.
Bus stops on eastbound U.S. 36 at the Westminster Park-n-Ride, which has stops on both sides of the highway
Bus stops on eastbound U.S. 36 at the Westminster Park-n-Ride
This Park-n-Ride is located on both sides of U.S. 36 with room for 1,310 vehicles on the surface lot and in the four-level garage which was completed in 2003. The city is renowned for its extensive walking and bicycle trails, which also feed into the Westminster Center site.

When bus rapid transit service begins along U.S. 36, newer and bigger shelters will be installed on both sides of the highway and they will be separated from shelters which serve passengers taking local routes.

The clock tower at Westminster City Hall. July 3, 2013
The bell tower at Westminster, Colo. City Hall. July 3, 2013

More to See

A short walk east from the Park-N-Ride is the heartbeat of the City of Westminster, which includes City Hall, a unique public park, and some of the most stunning mountain and Denver skyline views in the metro area.

Be sure to climb the 181 steps of City Hall's 14-story bell tower to take in the 360-degree vista of the region.

LITTLE KNOWN FACT: The bell tower was built to resemble London's Big Ben and as a link to its sister city Westminster in England. The tower holds 24 bells and is the second largest carillon in the state after the University of Denver's carillon which houses 30 bells.

The Lord Mayor of Westminster attended groundbreaking ceremonies for the new city hall and bell tower. Today an English oak grows on the site - a gift from Westminster, England - to commemorate the Lord Mayor's 1986 visit.

The playground at Westminster Center Park in Westminster, Colo. July 3, 2013
A Peter Pan-themed playground at Westminster Center Park. July 3, 2013

It Takes a Region

Today, Westminster is the seventh most populated Colorado city with a population of just over 100,000. RTD FasTracks and its regional partners, like Westminster, continue to plan together for future and seamless growth. RTD is committed to building out FasTracks sooner rather than later so people in the region will have
more transit options as they choose where to live, work and play.
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