Piep van Heuven

We are calling on Denver to fund bike/ped networks at $40 million a year

We at Bicycle Colorado believe that Denver must innovate and lead the way when it comes to bicycle funding and infrastructure in order for Colorado to achieve its goal of becoming the #1 bicycle-friendly state. As part of that effort, Bicycle Colorado formed and leads the Denver Streets Partnership (DSP), a group of nonprofit organizations advocating to fund, build and maintain a complete active transportation system in our home city.

Denver’s infrastructure to walk and bike safely has been neglected for years. At current funding levels, it could take up to 160 years to build complete sidewalk and bike lane networks. We believe this must change!

The Denver Streets Partnership is calling for $40 million per year in funding to build safe, connected street networks for people who walk, bike and access transit. This level of annual, dedicated funding is needed to address safety, access and freedom of choice. It is needed to fix Denver’s missing and substandard sidewalks, build out the Denver Moves Bicycles plan and expand Denver B-cycle. It is needed to alleviate the pressures of crowding in downtown and to offer mobility alternatives that residents (and tourists)–young and old alike–are seeking because they don’t own a car, don’t want to drive or aren’t able to drive.

Denver allocated $5 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects in 2017, including the first-ever funds for sidewalks. This represents an increase from 2014 dedicated funding levels that were less than $1 million, but still lags far behind peer cities like Las Vegas, Seattle, Nashville and Minneapolis that spent 20 to 40 times as much in 2014.

A professional survey conducted last autumn for Bicycle Colorado revealed that the majority of people in Denver ride bikes and overwhelmingly support building the Denver Moves Bicycles network.

  • 62% of Denver residents surveyed supported increasing the investment in bicycling infrastructure, even if it means a reduction in traffic lanes and parking.
  • More than 60% of Denver residents stated they would opt for a bike over a car if consistent bike infrastructure were provided.
  • 64% of Denver residents aged 18 to 34 said Denver should spend more than the current 2% of transportation infrastructure dollars on biking and walking.

Traffic and safety issues at the forefront of conversations in Denver and statewide. Denver’s rapid growth only means more crowded roads and greater difficulty driving downtown, and tansportation choice is sorely needed. Mobility options and funding opportunities will be a focus as the city crafts a 2018 budget and creates a general obligation bond package for voter approval in November 2017.

We need you!

It is critical that the Denver city council and mayor hear from their constituents on this issue. We will automatically connect residents to Mayor Hancock and their city council member, and provide sample messages. Our efforts to increase city funding for bicycling and walking infrastructure will not succeed without the voices of residents.

Members of the Denver Streets Partnership include Bicycle Colorado, BikeDenver, Denver B-cycle, Denver Cruiser Ride, WalkDenver, and the Denver Vision Zero Coalition.  

Piep van Heuven

About the Author: Piep van Heuven

Piep heads up the effort to make Denver a top city for safe bicycling and active transportation. She connects with partners and city leaders to develop leading policies, practices and infrastructure that can serve as a model for the state. Her interests include skiing, cyclocross, acapela and volunteering for Safe Harbor Lab Rescue.


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