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Bike and pedestrian advocates increase pressure on Denver

Advocates for pedestrians and bicyclists are focused on making Denver’s streets more people-friendly through a recent infrastructure proposal. The proposal emphasizes the need for more sidewalks and bike lanes, similar to other cities such as Seattle, Oklahoma City and Cleveland.

According to Walkdenver.org, an investment of $40 million per year, over two decades, will reduce the fatalities for commuters while helping bikers and walkers. Advocates approached Mayor Michael Hancock to consider several requests in the city’s upcoming budget:

  • $10 million for a new sidewalk and $5 million for bike lanes
  • $5 million to improve Federal Boulevard – the deadliest corridor according to Denver Streets Partnership
  • $1 million for design treatment – essentially making the roads clear and safe
  • $1 million for updating street design standards

Along with WalkDenver, several organizations are supporting the new infrastructure efforts including Bicycle Colorado, the American Heart Association, the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, All In Denver and nine other groups.

The city’s response

According to the Denver Post, the participants already spoke with the mayor. Executive Directors of WalkDenver, Jill Locantore, said Hankcock saw the requests as “bold goals.” But stated no exact plan or solution to the current safety issues for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Denver Department of Public works issued a report stating the officials look forward to collaborating with the organization, mainly to make roads safer for everyone.

“The city is committed to providing more walking, biking and transit choices for Denver residents to use, and we continue to accelerate transportation projects, policies and programs through Denver’s Mobility Action Plan,” the statement said. “Denver has put $15.5 million towards investments in the bike, pedestrian, transit and Vision Zero safety improvements since the launch of the plan last year.”

Advocates hope to see progress with the city before the next budget. Until a compromise is set, bicyclists and pedestrians will need to stay vigilant and safe while traveling the Denver streets.

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