Windscreens for Denver RTD’s new Colfax 15/15L bus shelters embrace line’s east-west connection

Sept. 10, 2021
Each of the 34 new shelters will feature a geometric design inspired by 20th century artist M.C. Escher embedded into the windscreen glass.

Windscreen artwork for the Denver Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) 15/15L bus shelter improvement project will celebrate Colfax Avenue as a vital connection between Colorado’s Eastern Plains and Rocky Mountains.  

Designed in-house by Denver RTD Architect Ignacio Correa-Ortiz, each of the 34 new shelters installed along east- and westbound Colfax Avenue in Denver and Aurora will feature a geometric design inspired by 20th century artist M.C. Escher embedded into the windscreen glass. 

The artwork depicts a high plains creek (Correa-Ortiz envisions Sand Creek), along with native species such as yucca plants and lizards, that geometrically transforms through a field of staggered cubes into the Front Range skyline, from Mount Evans to Longs Peak, featuring indigenous aspens and hawks. 

Correa-Ortiz intentionally designed the windscreen artwork to be most dense at its center, which is at eye level for many patrons. While the field of staggered cubes was created to be visually evident for functional purposes, Correa-Ortiz dubs the center “the place where the plains meet the mountains as a representation of plate tectonics.” 

As a safety feature, the windscreens are imprinted during fabrication with a texture that looks like sand-blasted glass to provide visual contrast on the surfaces. The glass is treated with an anti-graffiti coating to discourage vandalism. The work was made possible by Denver RTD construction inspectors; the contractor, Jalisco; and the contractor’s glass vendor. 

Current demand for Denver RTD’s 15/15L bus service along Colfax is higher than all other RTD routes. To enhance the customer experience along this busy corridor, Denver RTD is upgrading 15L stops between Broadway and the R Line Colfax Station in Aurora to include shelters with lighting and security cameras. 

Other planned upgrades include queue bypass lanes, transit signal priority and bus bulbs in key locations. Street and sidewalk construction were completed in 2020, and the installation of bus shelters and additional amenities is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.