WalkDenver’s New Year’s Resolutions

by Jill Locantore on December 31, 2015

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2015 was a great year for WalkDenver, and we look forward to taking on even bigger challenges in 2016! Below are just some of the initiatives we resolve to work on in the new year.  We hope that you will join us by contributing to WalkDenver, either with your time and talents or financially.  Your donation makes advocacy happen!

Denver Deserves Sidewalks

unnamed (4)Sidewalks are the most most basic form of infrastructure that Denver needs, but currently lacks in many areas, for a complete transportation system. At the end of 2015, WalkDenver launched a campaign calling upon the City and County of Denver to assumes responsibility for building and maintaining sidewalks, and to establish a dedicated funding source for this purpose. To date, we have collected more than 2,100 petition signatures (both online and hardcopy) and dozens of support letters. In 2016, WalkDenver will continue to build the momentum behind our campaign, with the goal of persuading City Council taking action before the end of the year.

Vision Zero

No one should have to die simply by trying to get aroundTogether with BikeDenver, the Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee (MPAC), the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (MBAC), and Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC), WalkDenver has committed to launching a Vision Zero Coalition in 2016.  Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. Mayor Hancock’s 2016 budget includes $350,000 to create a plan and public marketing campaign that will “formally declare” Denver as a Vision Zero city. The Coalition will help inform and advocate for the swift, complete, and equitable implementation of Vision Zero projects and policies in Denver.

Safe Routes to School

kids in crosswalkWalkDenver has been coordinating in-depth walk audits to assess infrastructure and the built environment around four schools: Munroe Elementary, Smith Elementary, Swansea Elementary, and Valverde Elementary. We are now busy analyzing all the great data that our volunteers helped us to collect, and in 2016 will release reports for each of the schools with short- and long-term recommendations for improving pedestrian access to the school and throughout the surrounding neighborhood.

Community Active Living Coalition

WALKscope MapWalkDenver is thrilled to be part of the Denver Community Active Living Coalition, which is led by the City and County of Denver Department of Environmental Health and founded on the belief that every person in Denver should have access to safe, vibrant places to walk, bike, and play.  A key part of this effort is volunteer-led “WalkShops” or neighborhood assessments around schools and recreation centers, including audits of the pedestrian environment using the WALKscope online data collection tool. In 2016, WalkDenver will continue to assist with recruiting and training volunteers to collect WALKscope data, and advocating for the data to be included in City planning and decision-making.

Denver Moves Pedestrians and Blueprint Denver

In 2014, WalkDenver led a successful campaign calling upon the City of County of Denver to develop a pedestrian master plan that would provide a clear path forward for improving the pedestrian environment in Denver.  Mayor Hancock and Denver City Council listened, and the 2015 City Budget allocated funding for a Denver Moves Pedestrians Plan.  In 2016 the City will begin the actual planning process, as well as several other major planning efforts, including an update of Blueprint Denver, the City’s integrated land use and transportation plan.  WalkDenver looks forward to actively participating, and facilitating community engagement, in the development of these important plans.

People on Colfax Initiative

Building on the success of our first-ever I Walk Colfax Gala and Video Contest, and theReimagine West Colfax Demonstration Project, WalkDenver will continue our focus on Denver’s “longest, wickedest street” throughout 2016.  We are particularly excited about working with our partners on East Colfax to follow up on walkability assessments that CU Denver Planning students recently completed for that corridor, and with the City on the next steps for the Colfax Corridor Connections project.

Stay tuned for updates on these and other WalkDenver activities in 2016!

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