Reconnecting Communities: A vision for transportation equity in Colorado
Introduced by Rachel Hultin, Bicycle Colorado’s Sustainable Transportation Director
Inequities in transportation are as complex as they are pervasive. And, like all inequitable systems, addressing one aspect can both improve other areas while also revealing additional layers.
This summer, Bicycle Colorado was honored to work with Emily Maruyama, a transportation equity fellow working on her MPH at George Washington University’s School of Public Health. Emily’s research included historical trends at the national and state level which she then put into context at the community and individual level through two case studies of Routt County and San Luis Valley.
The importance and urgency of her work is well articulated in her final report titled “Reconnecting Communities: A vision for transportation equity in Colorado”: “A long history of racist infrastructure investment and continued transportation planning policies that prioritizes cars over communities has left many Coloradans unhealthy, unsafe, and disconnected. Providing and maintaining equitable transportation options for Colorado communities does more than get people from point A to point B. Transportation equity is essential for addressing systemic disparities in health outcomes and access to housing, education, employment, criminal justice, and recreation1. All people deserve access to reliable, affordable, and safe transportation options.”
Who should read Reconnecting Communities? Anyone interested in gaining more insight and understanding about the historical impact of transportation policies, the ongoing conditions of disenfranchised communities, and the possibilities for expedient action to ensure transportation investments and policies serve all Coloradans. Emily’s work has been shared with numerous county commissioners, local elected officials, agency leaders at CDOT, CDPHE, and DRCOG. Emily does a beautiful job weaving together data, context, and narratives in a way that makes her research as inviting as it is impactful.
As a statewide organization, it is our responsibility to thoughtfully serve and represent all Coloradans who want to, or need to, ride bicycles. Bicycle Colorado is dedicated to ensuring that our organization, advocacy, education, and events are as diverse, equitable and inclusive as the Coloradans we serve. Emily’s research is helping all of us get closer to a truly equitable transportation vision for Colorado. We are so grateful for Emily’s work and research and we wish her all the best as she continues her own studies. Whatever is next for her, will shine brightly in our world.
- Denver Streets Partnership, Denver Streets Partnership Strategic Framework, 2.