What is your idea of a complete street? The City is updating their street design guidelines!

by Jessica Vargas on December 13, 2019

Streets are the largest amount of public space in any city. Long before private cars became the dominant form of transportation, streets were not just spaces to get from place to place – they were the place. Transportation was still a crucial function of the street: you could walk, catch a streetcar, ride a bicycle, make a delivery, and yes, drive. But streets were also the place you could chat with your neighbor, do your grocery shopping, grab a bite to eat, or let your kids play. As these activities got pushed to the margins of the public street and into private property, the idea of how streets should function – and how you could access them – narrowed drastically.

Anyone who has traveled in Denver over the last few years know that most of our streets are not exactly living up to their potential. Denverites are stuck in trafficfacing serious safety risksbreathing in polluted air, and losing valuable opportunities for connection. A key factor holding our city back from achieving its mobilitysafety, and sustainability goals is outdated street design standards that prioritize the movement of cars over the health and well-being of people. 

The City & County of Denver is therefore developing new Complete Streets guidelines that will inform a comprehensive update to the City’s street design standards. As part of that process, they want to hear from you about what complete streets should look like in Denver. You can share about the streets you already love, submit a photo of a great street in Denver, and help the City understand your priorities when it comes to the streets you travel on.

The concept of “Complete Streets” has become a hot topic of discussion and planning all over the country. The Denver Streets Partnership, Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee recently sent a letter to the City [PDF] offering their recommendations for what should be included in the update to Denver’s Complete Streets policy. Access, safety, and quality of life are among our top priorities when it comes to redesigning and reclaiming our streets for people. Now we are encouraging you to offer up your own ideas of what a complete street is to you by taking the City’s map survey and sharing it with your fellow Denverites!

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