Speak up for sidewalks and safe streets

by Jill Locantore on November 18, 2016

imagine-a-safer-colfax

Attend a public meeting or submit your comments online for the 2017 GO Bond

Do you think Denver Deserves Sidewalks?  Do you believe that no one should have to die just trying to get around Denver?  Now’s you chance to speak up in support of major new funding for the infrastructure Denver residents need to safely walk, bike, and take transit to their daily destinations.

Thanks to the advocacy of WalkDenver, our partners, and people like you, City Council recently adopted a 2017 budget that includes some funding for sidewalks and pedestrian safety projects.  This funding falls well short of the need, however.  For just sidewalks alone, the budget allocated $2.5 million, whereas the estimated cost to build out a complete network is hundreds of millions of dollars.

To provide additional funding for major infrastructure needs, the City will be pursuing a general obligation (GO) Bond next year and is hosting a series of meetings where the public can provide input on how this money should be spent. Here are a few ways that Bond funding could help jump-start Denver’s transition to a truly multi-modal city.

Complete the sidewalk network in a few key areas.  The starting point for identifying Bond projects is Elevate 2020, the City’s six-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).  This plan identifies the need for $5 million in new sidewalks connecting to transit station areas, which would dramatically improve access to the regional transit system. Similarly, the recently completed Federal Boulevard Corridor Study calls for completing the sidewalk network along the entire corridor, which has the second highest transit ridership in the RTD network.

Build streetscape and safety improvements on Colfax, one of the deadliest streets in Denver.  The 2017 budget includes just enough funding to designthese improvements for several different locations along the corridor, which will then be shovel-ready for implementation with Bond funding.

Build a grade-separated pedestrian and bicycle crossing at 47th and York, the only connection between Swansea Elementary and areas to the west of the railroad tracks that cuts through the neighborhood.  This intersection presents severe challenges, where the railroad and two major roads converge.  The new crossing was a major recommendation that emerged from WalkDenver’s work on Safe Routes to School.

Your voice is critical to ensuring a significant portion of the 2017 Bond is dedicated to projects that will make Denver more pedestrian, bicycle, and transit friendly.  You can either attend one of the public meetings listed below, or submit your comments online.

For more information about the 2017 GO Bond, visit the City’s website.

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