The final Denver Moves: Pedestrian and Trails Plan is now available online!

by Jessica Vargas on May 31, 2018

WalkDenver has been eagerly awaiting the release of the most recent Denveright plan – now the Denver Moves: Pedestrian & Trails Plan is finally here! Since the planning process for this plan began in the spring of 2016, WalkDenver has been closely following its development.

Prior to this planning process, the City did not have comprehensive data on the existing sidewalk network. The plan does a great job of inventorying current sidewalk locations and widths, and establishing criteria for prioritizing new sidewalk construction and upgrades. However, the plan stops short of setting out a target timeline with specific milestones for building out the network – ideally something sooner than the 440 years the plan estimates it will take to build out the network at the current funding rate of $2.5 million per year! Establishing a larger, dedicated funding source will be essential for completing the estimated $1 billion worth of sidewalk construction and repairs needed throughout the city in a timely manner.

The lack of safe crossings, particularly along major arterial and collector streets, can also greatly diminish the walkability of an area even with a good sidewalk network. To address this issue, the plan establishes a proactive approach to identifying new crossing locations based on safety considerations, rather than only relying on citizen requests as the City has done in the past.

The creation of a Pedestrian & Trails Plan for Denver and the City’s short-term plan to help residents fix sidewalks are huge steps toward establishing walkability as a priority for the city. However, it is WalkDenver’s opinion that the plan should have aimed higher than just building out sidewalks and crossings, and established goals for increasing pedestrian mode share and pedestrian level of service. While there is no denying that basic walking infrastructure is sorely needed in our city, it is disappointing that the plan focuses so narrowly on sidewalks and crossings while saying almost nothing about elements such as trees and landscaping, street furniture, lighting, traffic calming, wayfinding, art, pedestrian access to buildings, or other factors that contribute to a truly great pedestrian environment.

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