- I will support efforts to improve transit throughout the region because it’s all connected.
- I will support safe streets through better design, slower speeds, and much better sidewalks adjacent to arterials.
- I will support safe and connected bicycle infrastructure throughout the region because it’s all connected.
Transportation and land use and the environment are inextricably tied together. Better land use brings better transportation options. Better transportation options bring better environmental conditions. Better transportation, especially better transit, brings better land use development and better access to jobs.
RTD is a great transit system. One of the many reasons I moved to Denver was because I wanted to live in a place that supported transit. Even with that strong support in the region for the concept of transit, the land use in the newer suburbs and suburban-style areas of Denver are difficult to serve. This is evident by looking at the bus lines that maintained a relatively high level of service during the pandemic and those that were discontinued. The strongest bus lines operate on streets like Colfax, Broadway and Federal, that are surrounded by development patterns that support transit. Those bus lines held their own and transported the people who sustained the economy. Even though the authority of the city council stops at the city limit, its support for transit is without a doubt felt throughout the region and noticed across the country. I know this because bus operators, transit agency CEOs and board members from Seattle to Miami have told me.
I believe arterial and collector streets should have a maximum speed limit of 25 miles per hour. Over 70 people died in Denver due to traffic crashes in 2021, many more sustained serious injuries. I’m certain some people will still recklessly drive no matter what the speed limit is, but I believe enough people will drive at slower speeds and help reduce the number of injuries and deaths. New York City, for instance, with over 8 million residents, experienced fewer than 200 traffic fatalities in 2018, four years after it reduced the default speed limit to 25 miles per hour. Fifty-eight people were killed in crashes in Denver in 2018. Think about that: Denver had less than 1/10 the population of New York City but had 1/4 as many traffic fatalities. Everyone should make it home.
Speed limits are only part of the answer. Road design is another part. Safe spaces to walk/roll along arterials, like Federal Boulevard, Colorado Boulevard, Alameda Avenue, and Sheridan Boulevard, are needed for the safety of Denver’s residents and visitors, to better access the transit system, and for the freedom of people with mobility challenges. Elements such as tree-lined streets, clear lines of sight, speed bumps and road diets also help calm traffic and are proven to improve safety.
A safe and connected bicycle network is needed to improve the full transportation network. Protected bike lanes are preferable to unprotected bike lanes. Bike lanes are preferable to sharrows. (Doing nothing is also preferable to sharrows. Read about that here.) A maximum 25 mile per hour speed limit on major streets is preferable to the de facto raceways that bicyclists/pedestrians and people using mobility devices have to deal with now.