Tackling climate change in Denver means rethinking how we get around our city

by Jessica Vargas on February 20, 2020

Last month, the City began convening a task force comprised of stakeholders, experts, and community members to gather ideas about how to address what has become one of the top issues of 2020: climate change. While the task force has been charged with identifying opportunities to address climate change in a number of different sectors, transportation will be a crucial area to focus on. If Denver is to achieve its climate goals, the most impactful thing we can do in the realm of transportation is to reduce the amount of driving we do in the city.

When you reduce driving, you reduce overall carbon emissions that contribute to the climate crisis. This would also reduce the amount of particulate matter and ozone that vehicles (even electric-powered) release – the really nasty air pollution that lingers in the air and disproportionately impacts low-income communities located near major highways and roadways. And because car ownership is currently a prerequisite to participate in society, removing the need to have a car would not only reduce the amount of driving we do but also create a more equitable transportation system that ensures Denver can truly represent and accommodate its diverse population.

There are a number of ways that Denver can transform its transportation system to be healthier, more efficient, and environmentally-friendly. But dismantling car culture will require the City to prioritize initiatives, policies, and projects that would reduce driving and provide quality multimodal options. As part of the public engagement process for the Climate Action Task Force, the City will host six public meetings that will be held at locations across the city in late April. Task force meetings occur biweekly (the next one is Thursday, February 20!) and are open to public observers. To learn more about the Climate Action Task Force, sign up for updates on this initiative, and find out how you can get involved, visit the website.

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