Pedestrians gain YUGE foothold in Denver

by Jill Locantore on February 25, 2016

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Mayor supports safety, media spotlights sidewalks, and more!

Maybe it’s because 2016 is a leap year, but pedestrian advocacy in Denver took a giant step forward in February.  After WalkDenver and partners delivered hundreds of Valentines from Denver residents to Mayor Hancock at a Love-In for Vision Zero, the Mayor officially announced the City’s commitment to the goal of zero traffic fatalities or serious injuries.  This is a big deal: for the first time the City is publicly acknowledging that traffic crashes are predictable, and therefore preventable, and pledging to pursue data-driven strategies for ensuring the safety of all road users, particularly the most vulnerable people traveling on foot or by bike.

Denver Post Front Page

Also in February, the Denver Deserves Sidewalkscampaign took flight and landed on the front page of the Denver Post (and was featured on DPTV).  City Council has responded to the growing demand for the City to do a better job of ensuring that all neighborhoods have the most basic infrastructure needed for a complete transportation system, and established a Sidewalk Working Group.  The Working Group, chaired by Councilman Paul Kashmann, held its second meeting on February 24, and heard an earful from residents who struggle to get around neighborhoods with missing and substandard sidewalks.

“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.”

A further sign that the City is starting to take walkability seriously: for the first time ever, Denver Public Works is hiring a full-time pedestrian planner. The person hired for this position will be responsible for “the creation, development, and implementation of a formalized, citywide Pedestrian Program.”

These wins for walkability would not have happened without all of you who have demonstrated your support for WalkDenver by volunteering your time or signing the Denver Deserves Sidewalks petition.  Help us keep the momentum going by contributing to WalkDenver today.  Thank you for helping to make Denver the most walkable city in the country!

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