Colfax Avenue

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US 40.svgBusiness Loop 70.svg

United States Numbered Highways
List • Bannered • Divided • Replaced

Colorado State Highways

Colfax Avenue is the main street that runs east and west through the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area in Colorado. As U.S. Highway 40, it was one of two principal highways serving Denver before the Interstate Highway System was constructed. In the local street system, it lies 15 blocks north of the zero point (Ellsworth Avenue, one block south of 1st Avenue). For that reason it would normally be known as "15th Avenue". However, the street was named for the 19th-century politician Schuyler Colfax, as was the town of Colfax, California. On the east it passes through North Aurora, then East Denver, and on the west, through West Denver, then just below Edgewater, and through Northeast and North Lakewood, and finally ends in the southern part of Golden. Colfax Avenue cuts through Original Aurora, the city's historic core, and skirts the southern edge of downtown Denver. Because of the dense, mixed-use character of the development along Colfax Avenue, the Regional Transportation District bus route 15 - East Colfax has the highest ridership in the RTD system.[citation needed] In 2006, the first Colorado Colfax Marathon was held, traversing the length of Colfax Avenue through the three cities.

Colloquially, the arterial is referred to simply as "Colfax", a name that has become associated with prostitution, crime, and a dense concentration of liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries. Playboy magazine once called Colfax "the longest, wickedest street in America." However, such activities are actually isolated to short stretches of the 26-mile (42 km) length of the street. Periodically, Colfax undergoes redevelopment by the municipalities along its course that bring in new housing, trendy businesses and restaurants. Some say that these new developments detract from the character of Colfax, while others worry that they cause gentrification and bring increased traffic to the area.[1][2]

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