Why I support WalkDenver – and how you can too

by Jessica Vargas on November 8, 2018

Help celebrate our successes and support the important work still to be done with a year-end gift to WalkDenver!

As our year-end fundraising campaign kicks off, we asked our board members why they support WalkDenver. Jennifer Addair shared this story with us:

“I’ve been in a few bad car crashes and several years ago, I decided to reshape my life to be less car dependent and move to walking and public transit. When I moved downtown, I realized that it can be harder than I thought it would be to not rely on a car – and still dangerous.

When I discovered WalkDenver, I was so excited to learn about their advocacy and am so proud at all the changes I’ve seen the organization accomplish over the past few years: funding for sidewalks, support for Vision Zero so everyone can get around safely, and the community starting to view not driving as a valid choice. Just in my neighborhood, I see so many more people walking, taking the train, biking, using scooters, and not relying as much on cars—it’s really exciting.

There is still more to be done though—sidewalks to build out, streets to make safer, and policies to shape. That’s why I support WalkDenver and hope you will too.”

Jennifer and her husband on a trip to Montreal (a pretty good walking city!)

As Jennifer mentioned, WalkDenver’s advocacy has made a real difference over the past few years. When we launched our Denver Deserves Sidewalks campaign in 2015, the City’s position was that building and repairing sidewalks was not their responsibility. Since then, the City has allocated over $50 million for new sidewalk construction, launched a new sidewalk repair program with subsidies for low-income homeowners, and established a City Council Sidewalk Working Group that is now discussing a permanent, dedicated funding source for sidewalks.

Following our launch of the Denver Vision Zero Coalition in 2016, the City has committed to eliminating traffic fatalities by the year 2030, developed a Vision Zero Action Plan with nearly 70 actions to be completed over five years, and dedicated millions of dollars for traffic safety improvements including $500,000 in the draft 2019 Budget for redesigning one of Denver’s most dangerous intersections, the cloverleaf interchange of Colfax and Federal.

In 2019, WalkDenver and our fellow members of the Denver Streets Partnership will be working with the City to update Denver’s street design standards so that people walking, biking, and accessing transit are prioritized on all streets. And there is still a lot of work to be done – the full cost of building out Denver’s sidewalk network is estimated at over a billion dollars, and so far 56 people have died in traffic crashes on Denver’s streets just this year. With the support of people like you who care about providing safe, healthy, affordable transportation options, we can continue to make progress on these issues.

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