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Denver Dedicates $7.1M to Biking and Walking


Mayor Michael Hancock is committed to making Denver the most bike-friendly city in the nation. In the 2016 budget, he has devoted $7.1 million to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects. This is one million more than the 2015 budget and will be devoted to opening new dedicated bike lanes, as well as adding sidewalks, lighting and crosswalks to ensure pedestrian-friendly pathways across the city.

Mayor Hancock held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a protected bike lane in downtown Denver on December 3, 2015, underscoring more of what’s to come with this funding in the new year. A significant portion of the funding (2.2 million) is dedicated to the Denver Moves streets and trails plan that focuses on adding bike routes and trails to encourage physical activity for all residents. According to the City of Denver, they already have “over 100 miles of multi-use trails, 100 miles of bike lanes, 39 miles of sharrows, which is a placed in the travel lane to indicate where people should preferably cycle, and almost 400 miles of signed bike routes.” 

Colorado is often cited as the healthiest state in the nation and leaders want to see it stay that way. According to County Health Rankings, the Denver area (Jefferson County) scores a 100% for “access to exercise opportunities” and has only a 13% physical inactivity rate among adults. Several studies have found that the way communities are designed and developed can have an effect on physical activity opportunities and obesity rates. Auto dependent built environments that are less safe for walking and biking have been correlated with obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Advocates supporting this funding included the American Heart Association and the Downtown Denver Partnership.