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Labor Day is quickly approaching, and with it comes the dreaded Labor Day traffic. We’ve got your guide to navigating the crowds, detours, and road closures throughout downtown Denver this weekend.

There are a plethora of activities and festivals in downtown Denver to keep you happy and busy this Labor Day weekend. Between two of the bigger events of the long weekend — the 34th annual A Taste Colorado in Civic Center Park and the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Mile High Stadium, along with other events happening throughout the city — you’ll be sure to have a wonderful weekend with family and friends. Unfortunately, with all of the fun comes all of the traffic and huge crowds. But don’t stress yourself out, because we’ve got you covered. Consider us your survival guide to navigating Labor Day traffic.

So sit back and relax. You’ve probably already got enough to worry about with your family coming to town. Parking and dealing with the massive crowds shouldn’t add to that stress. Here’s everything you need to know so you can survive the Labor Day traffic. (Guide does not include tips on how to survive extended family members. If only …)

Road Closures

A Taste of Colorado is a big event that requires a lot of space, so there will be quite a few road closures, September 1-4. All streets will reopen on Tuesday, September 5, by 6 a.m., just in time for your morning commute!

labor day traffic

A Taste of Colorado (Photo courtesy of Facebook).

Bannock St.

  • Colfax Ave. to 14th Ave. | 9 a.m. on Wednesday (8/30)
  • 13th to 14th Ave. | 9 a.m. on Thursday (8/31)

14th Ave.

  • Cherokee St. to Broadway | 9 a.m. on Thursday (8/31)
  • Court St. to Colfax Ave. | 6:30 p.m. on Thursday (8/31)
  • Broadway to Lincoln | 7 p.m. on Thursday (8/31)
  • Lincoln to Sherman St. | 7 p.m. on Friday (9/1)

15th St.

  • Colfax Ave. to Cleveland Pl. | 6 a.m. on Friday (9/1)

16th Ave.

  • Eastbound from Broadway to Lincoln | 12 p.m. on Saturday (9/2)

Colfax Ave. (Eastbound)

  • Court St. to Broadway | 6:30 p.m. on Thursday (8/31)
  • Both directions Lincoln St. to Sherman St. | 7 p.m. on Friday (9/1)

Colfax Ave. (Westbound)

  • 15th St. to Cherokee St. | 6:30 p.m. on Thursday (8/31)
  • Lincoln St. to 15th St. | 6 a.m. on Friday (9/1)

Broadway

  • Lane closure from 13th to 17th Ave. | 6 a.m. on Thursday (8/31)
  • 13th to 19th Ave. | 7 p.m. on Thursday (8/31)

Sherman St.

  • Southbound from 16th to 17th St. | 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday (9/1)

Parking

There are roughly 30,000-plus parking spots in downtown Denver within walking distance of A Taste of Colorado. But if you’re not wanting to drive, I highly suggest checking out the other modes of transportation listed below. Not only will it save you the hassle, but it’s also a great way to take in the sights.

If you’re heading to the Rocky Mountain Showdown on Friday, September 1, the Decatur-Federal Station will not be available to RTD patrons between the hours of 1 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. The lot, instead, will be a pay lot for those attending the event. So if you’re not going to the football game, I suggest finding another area to park in so you can avoid getting your vehicle towed. Oh, and Go Rams!

Public Transportation

Take the light-rail or a bus this weekend. Trust me, they’re your best options. Fares are more reasonable, and they’re a great alternative to being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, with taillights being your only view. RTD offers great tools so you can plan your trip accordingly, so make sure you visit its website!

labor day traffic

The Rocky Mountain Showdown (Photo courtesy of Mile High Sports).

Light-Rail

The light-rail will not be affected by the events in downtown. However, with the closure of the Civic Center bus/MallRide terminal, Union Station will be busier than usual.

A majority of the lines will drop you off directly in downtown, while other lines such as the D, F and H trains will take you to the 16th and California Station as well as the Theater District/Convention Center stations. Line A, B, C, E and W will arrive at Union Station.

Bus Pickups

North-south lines will be rerouted around A Taste of Colorado:

  • Detour takes effect on Friday (9/1) for the 87L, 100L, 116X, CV/CS/CX and EV/ES/EX lines — pickup moved to Broadway, between 16th and 17th St.

Bus Departures

Departures from several Park-n-Rides for the Rocky Mountain Showdown will last about two-and-a-half hours before kickoff. Service will resume directly following the game and will continue for 45 minutes.

What are your plans for the weekend? Do you have any other tips on how to survive the massive amounts of Labor Day traffic? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Don’t want to be in Denver for the long weekend? Check out the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo instead!

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