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The RiNo Art District though cohesive entrepreneurial and innovative ideals, is geographically divided by railroad tracks. Currently, the two sides of RiNo rely on only two connectors: Broadway and the 38th Street underpass. The underpass – though used by cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians – is dangerous: it is unlit, and has suffered from a lack of maintenance. Bicycle accidents have become commonplace; pedestrians hesitate to make the perceived dangerous trek. RiNo is spearheading a creative lighting solution to make the underpass safe for all users, while enhancing the connectivity of the neighborhood and adding an artistic element to a drab, hazardous thoroughfare. This project is partially funded by the Arts & Venues PSYAH grant and the RiNo Art District.

An artists collaborative by the name of Knomad was awarded the lighting portion of this project and is in the process of installing the new piece in the spring of 2017. Their work is inspired by the beautiful "arabesque" railing patterns underneath the bridge created in the early 1920's. RiNo neighborhood businesses Junoworks and Visual Interest are also an important part of this collaboration and are helping with implementation and installation of the project.

Adjacent to the underpass are two large walls that the district is visually connecting to this new lighting piece with a mural treatment. Local muralist Pat Milbery and Jason Graves are working closely with the Knomad artists to create murals on both sides of 38th Street. This portion of the project was funded by the new Blue Moon Brewing Company at 38th and Chestnut Place. Together with a series of community painting days the neighborhood came out and helped create this new stunning work of art. Once complete this new district gateway piece that will serve as a major connection for RiNo East and RiNo West.

By creating a safer, user-friendly connection between the east and west sides of RiNo, this project will enhance the utilization and engagement between not only this district, but also the neighborhoods that surround it. As RiNo transitions to a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly environment, the underpass project will encourage higher utilization and encourage users to engage in exploration of the neighborhood, as well as pay homage to RiNo’s character and history, thus enhancing the sense of place and creating a more dynamic visitor experience.

View the latest analysis regarding connectivity at the 38th Street Underpass: RiNo Railroad Crossing Connectivity Analysis

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