A lot has happened since WalkDenver launched the Denver Deserves Sidewalks campaign in late 2015. Nearly 3,000 people signed the petition and 34 organizations provided support letters calling upon the City to establish a dedicated funding source for building and repairing sidewalks – which are missing on more than a quarter of Denver’s streets, and substandard or in serious disrepair on many more.
City Council responded by establishing a Sidewalk Working Group, which after nearly a year of studying the issue, is starting to focus in on potential policy changes that would help ensure every neighborhood has the basic infrastructure people need to safely walk.
For the first time ever, the City’s 2017 budget included funding specifically for sidewalks. The $2.5 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the estimated need, which ranges into the hundreds of millions of dollars, but still sets an important precedent.
The Denver Post also shone a spotlight on sidewalks throughout the year with multiple news stories and not one but two editorials on the subject, declaring “Enough talk on Denver sidewalk woes, time to walk.”
Mayor Hancock is finally showing interest in sidewalks too, and has established a “Sidewalk Affordability Working Group” that is tasked with developing a recommendation on sidewalk policy by June of this year.
All this activity means that now it’s more important than ever to let Mayor Hancock know: Denver Deserves Sidewalks! You can send a message to the Mayor about why sidewalks are important to you in one of two ways:
- Write him a letter! Visit the WalkDenver website for sample letter and information on how to submit it to the Mayor’s office.
- Tell it to the camera! We’re looking for people to participate in our Denver Deserves Sidewalks videos that we are posting to Instagram. Contact Jill Locantore for more information.