The R Line is now open, bringing light rail service through the heart of Aurora.
Visit the city’s rail web page for more information on rail in Aurora, including the possibilities for transit-oriented development at Aurora’s light rail stations. The new light rail line offers an opportunity for the creation of a dynamic urban core.
R Line promotes safety at light rail crossings
The 22-mile R Line, which provides a link from Peoria Station on the north end of the line to Lincoln Avenue Station on the south, connects riders to major activity centers like the Aurora Metro Center, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Children’s Hospital, University of Colorado Hospital and the new Veterans Administration hospital.
Providing accessibility for riders of light rail in Aurora means that intersections now look and function differently with trains now operating. Trains, traffic and pedestrians cross paths frequently as they travel through the 20 street-level crossings in the Aurora City Center area.
According to Regional Transportation District (RTD) Manager of Public Information and Outreach Lisa Trujillo, RTD is taking every opportunity to spread its safety messages to drivers and pedestrians. “Light rail trains are quiet, so it is important to pay attention around tracks and to obey signs and signals at crossings.”
Not all crossings on the R Line are alike. Out of a total of 29 crossings on the R Line between Nine Mile Station and Peoria Station, 13 are gated crossings.
Some intersections have flashing lights and railroad bells on the crossing gates, while crossings that run with the traffic signal do not have bells or flashing lights. Additional warning signs in advance of the light rail tracks may include “crossbuck” pavement markings, yellow and black “RXR” warning signs, “Stop Here on Red” signs and painted stop lines on the pavement.
A new feature at many pedestrian crossings will be large “blank out” train warning signs that promote pedestrian and motorist safety.
Trujillo notes that all pedestrian crossings comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act by providing raised tactile features on the ground, spring-loaded swing gates that pedestrians must manually open in order to cross the tracks, and fencing to help people safely navigate across the intersection.
Trujillo says that while signals, signs, lights, whistles and horns are important safety aids, state law prohibits motorists and pedestrians from entering a crossing when the bells are ringing and lights are flashing. She cautions motorists and pedestrians to always follow safety signs and to obey warning devices such as flashing red lights and gate arms. “We tell people they should always stay alert around trains and never stop on the tracks.”
Public art pops at light rail stations
The opening of The Aurora Line means more even more art in public places in Aurora.
More than $1.5 million in art has been placed on the Regional Transportation District (RTD) R Line, and each piece will be dedicated in the coming weeks. The artwork enhances the experience of riders, and provides each station with a sense of place. Here’s an overview of what you can expect to see on your first ride:
Iliff Station/Parking Garage
: California artist Gordon Huether produced a 35-foot-tall monument sculpture made of aluminum, dichroic glass and LED lights (funded by Aurora Art in Public Places).
Washington artist Koryn Rolstad created interactive art using sound and plastic film on polycarbonate windows located within the pedestrian bridge (jointly funded by Aurora Art in Public Places and RTD)
Aurora Metro Center Station:
Colorado artist John King created a sculpture between the bus exchange and station, and Connecticut muralist Ted Esselstyn produced a mural on the station wall along Sable Boulevard (jointly funded by Aurora Art in Public Places and RTD).
2nd and Abilene Station:
Kentucky artist Douwe Blumberg created artwork made from an aluminum/magnesium alloy and UV-stabilized acrylic that is located on the pedestrian bridge between parking and the platform (jointly funded by Aurora Art in Public Places and RTD).
13th Avenue Station:
Alabama artist Chris Fennell used steel and donated bicycles to create a sculpture on the traffic island between parking and the platform (jointly funded by Aurora Art in Public Places and RTD).
Colfax Avenue Station:
Arizona artist Joe O’Connell designed artwork under the Colfax Avenue bridge that is made out of laser-cut steel and LED lights (Art in Public Places funded).
Washington artist Koryn Rolstad used aluminum, dichroic glass and structural acrylic to create artwork on a landscaped area near the platform (jointly funded by Aurora Art in Public Places and RTD).
New York artist George Bates crafted 24 art pieces out of hand-painted glass to be placed on platform windscreens across eight stations (RTD funded).