Denver’s 2019 budget includes more than $7 million for bicycle network
Yesterday, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced the city’s 2019 operating budget, which includes $27 million for transportation and mobility improvements, more than $7 million of which will go directly to implementing the Denver Moves Bicycle Plan.
At Bicycle Colorado, we believe Denver should be the model for the rest of the state to follow with bicycle infrastructure, which is why we have a Denver-focused initiative within our statewide work. Mayor Hancock’s budget announcement is an exciting win for Denver, Denver bicyclists and Bicycle Colorado; it indicates that our capital city is thinking more seriously about shifting trips from single occupancy vehicles to biking and walking.
This is a big step up from the 2018 budget, which included $2.2 million for bicycling improvements. The Denver Streets Partnership, a coalition of community organizations advocating for people-friendly streets in Denver chaired by Bicycle Colorado, asked that the city double their investment in bicycling from 2018–they more than tripled it with a $4.2 million annual investment and a one-time $2.9 million addition.
Mayor Hancock has publicly stated that he wants to advance bicycling in the city in the past, but the numbers haven’t always backed that up. In this year’s State of the City address, Mayor Hancock announced his plans to add 125 miles of bike lanes to Denver’s streets over the next five years, and this $7 million, while far from covering that expense, shows that the Hancock administration is taking this commitment seriously.
In addition to the bicycle network improvements, the city is also adding to its investment in Denver B-cycle with $800,000, or about double what it had previously allotted for the city’s flagship bike sharing program. There is also money specifically dedicated to building out the pedestrian network, as well as addressing high crash locations so the city can meet its Vision Zero Goals.
Notably, the budget does not include any money for improving safety on Federal Boulevard, the city’s deadliest street. The Denver Streets Partnership asked for $5 million for Federal, and there is no money allotted to make safety improvements there.
The budget now heads to the Denver City Council for approval next month. If you think anything is missing from the budget, please get in touch with your council members. You can find out who they are by clicking here.
You can view the full budget by clicking here. Here is the language from the city’s 2019 budget priorities:
Improving Transportation and Mobility
- An additional $27 million to continue implementing the city’s Mobility Action Plan, including bigger commitments to Denver’s bicycle and pedestrian networks. These investments include:
- Doubling our annual commitment to bicycle-network buildout, with a $4.2 million investment. The Mayor also is proposing a one-time $2.9 million investment in the city’s bike network from the recent sale of a city-owned property. These funds will support Mayor Hancock’s ambitious effort to add 125 miles of bike lanes over the next five years.
- $800,000 to continue the city’s support for the Denver Bike Share program. This investment would allow us to discount or even offer free B-Cycle rides to Denver residents and to extend the program into currently unserved neighborhoods.
- $3.8 million to continue pedestrian-network buildout by making improvements at 10 intersections and filling critical sidewalk gaps.
- $2.6 million for projects to address safety at high crash locations, to implement recommendations of the Vision Zero Action Plan, and for new safety medians in Green Valley Ranch.
- An additional $250,000 for Safe Routes to School projects, bringing our total 2019 investment in children’s/youth safety and mobility to $750,000.
- $1 million for transit reliability improvements on key RTD bus corridors.
- Funding for the “Navigate North Denver” program to help residents, delivery trucks and commuters maneuver around construction projects in this part of the city.