In the Media
March 22, 2017
Most agree the cloverleaf is a barrier out of the 1950s. What’s been lacking is money and will. “I think it’s intimidating,” says Gosia Kung, founder and executive director of WalkDenver. “It’s been talked about for a long time but here’s never been enough political will to move it forward.”
No one really knows just how much it would cost to say, make the interchange an at-grade intersection and restore the original street grid. The West Colfax Business Improvement District and WalkDenver are trying to come up with that figure, but first they need a concept. The organizations are heading a planning and design process called Over the Colfax Clover. The goal? Collaborate with community members and key partners like CDOT, RTD and Denver Public Works to come up with a design and identify “creative funding solutions.” The group will even host an event in one of the clover leaves this summer to show its potential.
March 15, 2017
If a property owner fails to make necessary repairs to a sidewalk, a city crew will do the work at the owner’s expense. The result of this policy is a sort of patchwork of sidewalks. Some areas have sidewalks and some don’t, while some sidewalks are well-maintained and others are in a state of total disrepair.
It’s an issue the associate director of advocacy group WalkDenver calls a serious safety hazard. Jill Locantore said her organization has spent years trying to get Denver officials to take pedestrian needs more seriously. “We want them to treat sidewalks like other basic infrastructure in the city,” Locantore said.
Not only are bad sidewalks a safety issue, Locantore said, but placing the responsibility of upkeep on property owners puts an undue burden on low-income residents. Some of the biggest problem areas are low-income neighborhoods where homeowners can’t afford the financial burden of building and maintaining sidewalks.
WalkDenver’s ‘Denver Deserves Sidewalks’ campaign urges the city to change its policy and come up with a dedicated source of funding for building and maintaining sidewalks citywide. Other metro-area cities, such as Westminster and Englewood, add a surcharge to residents’ utility bills to fund sidewalk projects.
Denver Post – Where the sidewalk ends: In Denver, too many places
February 14, 2017
Jill Locantore with WalkDenver said the sidewalk network in the city is not functioning properly. The city must take over, and she said ideally there would be a permanent funding source for maintenance of existing sidewalks and construction of missing segments.
February 14, 2017
Tuesday afternoon, Bridgeman and supporters of the Safe Streets for Denver campaign, part of the Denver Vision Zero Coalition, walked and biked from Union Station to the Denver City and County Building.
Bridgeman met Hancock and asked for his support in making changes to safer speeds. She also hopes he will consider changes to street designs around the city.
“Mayor Hancock, I would like you to make our busy city streets safer,” Bridgeman said. “I don’t want what happened to me happening to anyone, ever.”
Streetsblog Denver – Students ask Hancock to overhaul Dangerous High-Speed Streets
February 14, 2017
Last year, 61 people lost their lives on Denver streets — the most since 2005. “We have the knowledge and the tools to prevent traffic crashes from ending in tragedy,” said Jill Locantore, associate director of WalkDenver. “We know that speed is the leading cause of fatal crashes. The difference between a driver who hits a pedestrian going 20 miles per hour versus 40 miles per hour is the difference between life and death. We also know how to design streets for safe speeds.”
Confluence Denver – Grad students help design a more walkable Montbello
January 12, 2017
WalkDenver, in its latest partnership with CU Denver graduate students, is tackling walkability issues in northeast Denver’s Montbello neighborhood….
WalkDenver reports that more than 90 percent of students at McGlone Academy and Maxwell Elementary — part of its 10 school Safe Routes to School Travel Plan project — live within a mile of their respective campuses and don’t have school buses, meaning that children in the area walk, bike or are driven to school. In making the assessments, the CU Denver students performed on-site audits, researched demographic data interviewed local residents and used the WALKscope tool.
January 3, 2017
Jill Locantore, policy and program director for pedestrian advocacy group WalkDenver, said she’s encouraged by the city’s discussions.
“The ultimate goal that we’re focused on is treating sidewalks like any other type of infrastructure in the city,” she said, in “the same way we treat the streets or the sewer system — where the city takes a comprehensive approach to building a complete network and maintaining that network over time.”
December 22, 2016
To simulate the journey, I called up Gosia Kung, founder of the nonprofit WalkDenver, and made her try to find the station.
Coming out of Gate 1, we found signs for gates, parking and the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame — but not the light rail station, which sees a huge spike on game days, according to RTD.
“Trying to find a way out of here and look for a light rail station, there’s no indication where to go,” Kung said.
Streetsblog Denver – Denver Council Narrows the Options to Fund a City Sidewalk Network
December 21, 2016
An optional fee would have to be paired with “an aggressive enforcement program,” so there’s incentive to buy in, said WalkDenver Policy Director Jill Locantore. “We’re looking for a comprehensive solution and we’re open to exploring all these different strategies, but the devil’s in the details… The fact they’re even considering this is a step in the right direction.”
Denver Public Works estimates it would cost $475 million to bring the city’s sidewalk network up to snuff, while WalkDenver, a major force behind the sidewalk initiative, puts that number closer to $600 million.
Denver Post – Enough talk on Denver sidewalk woes, time to walk
December 14, 2016
“Some communities lack the combined income needed to tackle projects of this nature, and it would be a shame if the solution failed to assist poorer neighborhoods.
That’s how we fear an incentive program would play out. The incentives might tip the scales to allow a middle-class neighborhood to mobilize, but it could leave poorer neighborhoods behind. The public right now can help identify sidewalk woes by using the city’s reporting tool: Walkscope.org.”
November 14, 2016
The council faced pressure to address sidewalk gaps during an Oct. 24 public hearing on the budget, including from Walk Denver executive director Gosia Kung.
“Just sidewalks alone — $2.5 million is just a drop in the bucket for a need that’s right now estimated at $475 million,” Kung said. “So we would like to encourage City Council and the mayor to take bold action and dedicate more funding — and find new funding sources — to support our pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, so that we can live up to our aspiration of being a healthy and active city.”
Streetsblog Denver – WalkDenver Wants to Help Residents Take First Step Towards a Car-Lite Life
October 25, 2016
“How easy is it to walk a mile? Bike to the store? Take transit to work instead of driving? If you live in West Denver, probably not as easy as it should be. Still, if you drive most places, it might be easier than you realize. That’s why WalkDenver just launched Project Shift. It’s a program that aims to help West Denver residents ditch their car more often and go car-lite or, if they’re ready, try living without a personal car altogether. The project is twofold: helping residents use active transportation options that already exist, and teaching them how to advocate for more.”
September 27, 2016
“Colfax was originally designed to move automobiles and it moves a lot of them very quickly, which makes it a very dangerous environment for pedestrians,” said Jill Locantore, program director for Walk Denver.
Streetsblog Denver – Denver Council Weighs Three Options to Fix Broken Sidewalk Network
August 11, 2016
“Finding a secure and sustainable funding source to treat pedestrian infrastructure as an essential part of the transportation network — especially in low-income neighborhoods — is what Denver needs most.”
July 14, 2016
“The city should have a good proactive program for going out and fixing the sidewalks when they need to, in the same way that they go out and fix the potholes and the roadway rather than leaving it up to individual property owners to take care of it,” says Jill Locantore, policy and program director for WalkDenver.
Denver Urbanism – Damaged Road? Fix It Immediately! Damaged Sidewalk? Forget It!
June 21, 2016
“The current policy itself is absurd. Can you imagine if the city took the same policy approach and required property owners to fix the potholes in the streets in front of their homes? What we need in Denver is for the city to treat sidewalks as critical transportation infrastructure that’s on equal standing with streets, with the city taking responsibility for the construction and maintenance of our public sidewalk network.”
Streetsblog Denver – Now It’s Up to City Council to Solve Denver’s Sidewalk Woes
April 1, 2016
“Fundamentally, one of the biggest flaws in the current policy is that it’s just really inefficient to build a transportation network one property at a time,” said WalkDenver Policy Director Jill Locantore. “Imagine if this is how we managed our streets — if it was a disconnected set of fragments and we just patiently waited for private property owners to fill in the gaps whenever they had the time and the wherewithal to do so.”
Denver Post – Editorial: Denver must make sidewalks a priority, too
March 26, 2016
“With the streets,” [Denver City Councilman Paul] Kashmann reminded us, “we go around and establish needs and set priorities and then make fixes.” It’s time that a similar process applied to sidewalks, too.
Denver Post – Keegan: Stop talking about sidewalks; build them
March 4, 2016
“Although no citizen ever wants to pay more taxes, building and maintaining sidewalks is a perfect example of how taxpayer dollars should be spent, where everyone kicks in money to accomplish as a group what cannot feasibly be done by individuals.”
February 24, 2016
“I don’t have options,” said Stewart Tucker Lundy, who uses a wheelchair and is a member of the Denver Commission for People with Disabilities. “If the sidewalk is obstructed, that is me not going to my job. If that sidewalk is not there or is nonexistent, you’re looking at a person who is not contributing to society.”
Denver Post – What should Denver do about its aging sidewalks?
February 19, 2016
“Appeals from the advocacy group WalkDenver and residents across the city are gaining new traction at city hall . . . Council members including Paul Kashmann, who’s chairing a new council working group on sidewalks, say it’s time for the city to reconsider its policy and take on the responsibility — or find ways to help residents pay the tab.”
Washington Park Profile – Advocacy Group Proposes City Manage Sidewalk Repairs
February 4, 2016
“Sidewalks are the most basic infrastructure you need for a complete transit system, including connections to other transportation,” says WalkDenver Policy and Program Director Jill Locantore. “Everyone is a pedestrian and so sidewalks are the foundation of a great city.”
Out Front – On your feet, Denver!
February 3, 2016
“We are finding that people don’t ride [public transit] as much as we hoped because they can’t access it,” says local walking advocate Gosia Kung. “Sidewalks have not been funded in the last 50 or 60 years.”
5280 Magazine – The Imitation Game
“If pedestrians don’t have sidewalks, crosswalks, and lighting that connect them to transit stops, they’re not going to use public transportation. A 2015 WalkDenver survey revealed many of our first- and last-mile connections need upgrades, with sidewalks requiring the most help. In Denver, property owners pick up the tab for sidewalks, so wealthy areas can pay for nice ones and poorer neighborhoods can’t.”
Denver Post – It’s not about congestion, it’s about freedom
(Op-Ed by WalkDenver Policy and Program Director Jill Locantore)
May 23, 2015
“Solving congestion might be out of reach for Denver, but ultimately, congestion isn’t the problem we should be trying to solve. The bigger problem is that many Denver residents don’t have any options other than driving to their daily destinations.”
Streetsblog Denver – Why Denver Needs to Get Serious About Street Safety and Adopt Vision Zero
May 4, 2015
“We’re hopeful that with the input of the newly established committee, the city will start embracing strategies that more directly address pedestrian safety, particularly in low-income neighborhoods that tend to have the highest pedestrian fatality rates,” said Jill Locantore, policy director with pedestrian advocacy group WalkDenver. “We’re disappointed, however, that the city is continuing to prioritize automobile traffic by widening roadways, such as Broadway near I-25.”
Confluence Denver – Voice of Denver: It’s Time to Become a Walkable City
(Commentary by WalkDenver Board Chair Gideon Berger)
April 15, 2015
“We face the challenge of how to create sustainable neighborhoods with the quality of life we desire as more people choose (or need) to live in the economic engines of 21st century America — our cities. WalkDenver, our only pedestrian advocacy organization (and whose board I chair), thinks one of the keys to meeting that challenge is by allowing Denver to be a city where walking is the easiest and best way to get around for many of our trips.”
Confluence Denver – 10 Denver Transportation Stories to Watch
February 25, 2015
WalkDenver’s Jill Locantore penned a DenverUrbanism post in Nov. 2014 that called Brighton Boulevard “a harrowing place for pedestrians” and argued that $26 million pegged for improvements in the 2015 budget offer an opportunity to turn the street into “a true pedestrian paradise.”
Washington Park Profile – Hey, Denver: On Your Feet – Or – Two Wheels!
January 14, 2015
While the bicycle community has been gaining traction in transportation planning circles over the past decade, pedestrians have been largely overlooked. Jill Locantore and compatriots at WalkDenver are out to change that dynamic.
December 5, 2014
Jill Locantore, the director of WalkDenver, a nonprofit working to make Denver the most walkable city in the country, points out that there are very walkable areas in the city, but other areas are much less accessible. She said current Denver policy places responsibility for sidewalks squarely on the adjacent private property owner.
“So that’s resulted in a situation where we have a very inconsistent system where the sidewalk will literally start and stop on the same block, and also these gross disparities where wealthy neighborhoods have a beautiful well connected pedestrian network and low income neighborhoods that are the most dependent on walking as a form of transportation really have the least adequate pedestrian infrastructure,” Locantore said.
November 5, 2014
For the Arapahoe bike lane, the DDP selected [the crowdfunding platform] ioby because it’s “not all or nothing and low fees,” says McCallum. A pair of other projects in Denver have raised funds on the platform: a pedestrian push in Jefferson Park from WalkDenver that raised $8,828 and a $5,746 project to make more playful bus stops in northwest Denver.
August 20, 2014
WalkDenver Policy and Program Director Jill Locantore touts the flexibility of working at the building. “You can pick and choose what you need,” she says.
Locantore, who works from a desk on the first floor, commends the ideas and work that went into the renovation. “I love the building,” she says. “It’s fantastic. They did a really nice job bringing in daylight,” adding, “Everything is nice — that’s the other nice thing about working in a freshly renovated building.”
But she says it’s more than a slick new workspace — it’s really about Powers’ vision of people working together. “Co-locating with all of these allied and like-minded organizations makes it so easy to collaborate.”
July 10, 2014
WalkDenver introduced WALKscope, a new online app that allows people — anywhere in Denver and some surrounding areas — to quickly identify and add to a database of pedestrian issues. Already the organization is harnessing the app’s power to create reports on pedestrian issues near schools, to make them safer who students who walk, bike or skate to school.
April 17, 2014
Gosia Kung is a Denver-based architect and urban planner whose organization WalkDenver advocates for a pedestrian-friendly environment. The organization has recently launched an app called WALKscope, which allows residents and visitors to collect data about where sidewalks are available and the safety of various intersections. According to WalkDenver, “This information will help create an inventory of pedestrian infrastructure in Denver, identify gaps and build the case for improvements.”
April 10, 2013
Gosia Kung is an architect and urban designer who started WalkDenver with fellow members of a Downtown Denver Partnership leadership program that was part of the “Work Well, Live Well” program. “There’s really nobody advocating for people on foot,” says Kung, whose firm, Kung Architecture, focuses on sustainable residential and commercial work. “Our group decided to do that.” Eighteen months later, it’s cultivated about 200 volunteers.
July 5, 2012
A lively urban experiment transformed drowsy West 25th Avenue for a day, but the street seems destined for a resurgence lasting longer than that.
June 25, 2012
Sometimes, it takes a village. On Saturday, it took a neighborhood. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. that day, residents, community organizers and nonprofit volunteers gathered for Denver’s first Better Block project, which re-created West 25th Avenue from Federal Boulevard to Eliot Street. The makeover attracted more than 1,500 visitors to re-imagine the area as a more colorful, pedestrian-friendly environment — one that organizers hope to make a permanent reality.
June 20, 2012
“Making Denver better one block at a time.” A lofty goal, but there’s no reason it won’t work here. That’s the view of architect and urban planner Gosia Kung, who is part of the neighborhood team behind this Saturday’s “Better Block Jefferson Park.”
Every day, tens of thousands of Denverites and Mile High visitors stroll the bustling 16th Street Mall and the tree-lined sidewalks that crisscross Cherry Creek. But pedestrians aren’t as abundant elsewhere in our fair city where residents are quick to hop in their cars. A new organization called WalkDenver—founded by local architect Gosia Kung—aims to change that four-wheels-first habit.
April 4, 2012
Today, our show focuses on walkability. We’ll look at efforts to get people walking in metro Denver. One approach is called the “Better Block Project.” This summer, a lifeless block in northwest Denver will be transformed into a bustling business district. The hope is to show people that making changes to an area can inspire folks to get out and walk. We’ll talk with Gosia Kung of WalkDenver, who is organizing the project. It’s planned for June 23rd on West 25th Avenue in north Denver, between Federal and Elliot.
March 13, 2012
There’s nothing like a beautiful spring-like day to get people outside walking. Humans are built to walk. It’s the original form of transportation, and millions of years later it still works fine. Or would, if we actually walked for transportation. Unfortunately the modern built environment has conspired to force everyone into a car.
February 24, 2012
“A few months after meeting in coffee shops in July 2011, the group gained official nonprofit status and the name Walk Denver, modeled after it’s bicycle-friendly partner. Today, approximately fifteen volunteers and organizers front the group, which is financially sponsored by the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center. Profiled in the New York Times last week, Walk Denver has become both a player and an impetus in the city’s overall plan to advance options for sustainable transportation.”
February 13, 2012
“It is the physical space of a city, Ms. Kung said on a recent walk through downtown, that creates a pedestrian’s view of the world. Ample sidewalks are crucial, she said, but they provide only the means of access to an environment that must then reward walkers through attractions like shopping and entertainment that cater specifically to foot traffic.”