DENVER — The Denver Streets Partnership says Denver's growing population and vehicle traffic are contributing to growing safety concerns for those who get around on foot or bicycle. The group released a report Tuesday calling for the city to dramatically increase spending on safety improvements.
"An average of about one person per week is dying in Denver just trying to get where they need to go," says Jill Locatore, with WalkDenver and the Denver Streets Partnership.
"Denver has been spending for the last few years about $5 million dollars for sidewalks and bike lanes every year. At that pace it's going to take hundreds of years to finish our bike lane network and to build all of our missing sidewalks," says Piep Van Heuven, also with the Denver Streets Partnership.
The group says just building out the sidewalk and bicycle networks will require an investment of at least $40 million per year over the next 20 years.
While that will require a significant investment, the Denver Streets Partnership says part of the solution includes smaller, less expensive fixes, like those the city recently made at the intersection of Colfax and Park Avenue. The intersection that used to be among the most dangerous now has features like extended curbs and wider medians.
The Denver Streets Partnership says these types of fixes can be made for as little as $10,000 dollars per intersection.
The City of Denver responded in a statement below. The city says it has committed to a number of safety improvements through its Denver Mobility Action Plan which can be viewed here. Transportation projects that will be funded by the GO bonds can be seen here.
"The city is committed to providing more walking, biking and transit choices for Denver residents to use, and we continue to accelerate transportation projects, policies and programs through Denver's Mobility Action Plan. Denver has put $15.5M towards investments in bike, pedestrian, transit and Vision Zero Safety improvements since the launch of the plan last year. In addition, the community-supported Elevate Denver GO Bonds will provide $415M over the next 10 years to fund transportation and mobility projects. We look forward to working together with the Denver Streets Partnership to continue delivering more transportation and mobility options for Denver residents."