Responses Sign Petition Read Questions
Would you support a dedicated funding source for building and maintaining pedestrian infrastructure, including sidewalks, within the City & County of Denver?
Like many cities, the responsibility for maintaining sidewalks in Denver rests with private property owners. While this system works relatively well for new or redevelopment projects, it does not address large portions of the city that were built without adequate sidewalks. Construction and maintenance of sidewalks presents a particular financial hardship to property owners in low-income neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are the least likely to have sidewalks, street/sidewalk lighting, marked crosswalks and traffic calming measures. Not surprisingly, pedestrians are killed at disproportionately higher rates in low-income neighborhoods, which have approximately double the fatality rates of wealthier communities.
What role, if any, do you see for the City & County of Denver in providing transit services above and beyond the services provided by RTD?
Transit plays an essential role in a complete transportation system, extending the reach of bicyclists and pedestrians across the metro area. Four new RTD commuter rail lines opening in 2016 will terminate at Denver Union Station, stopping at 5 new stations in Denver on their way from Wheat Ridge/Arvada, South Westminster, Thornton and the airport, along with Bus Rapid Transit service along US 36 from Boulder. While these new transit lines will enhance connectivity between downtown Denver and suburban communities, additional enhancements are needed to improve circulation within the city.
What solutions do you have in mind for improving walking, biking, or other safety concerns as children travel between schools and other opportunities for physical activity, such as at after school programs, recreation centers, or parks?
Despite Colorado’s reputation as the nation’s leanest state, the obesity rate for Denver’s kids is the same as the national average: 17%. The latest data also show that elementary-age children in Denver get an average of just 74 of the recommended 150 minutes of recommended physical education per week. Children who actively travel to school have higher physical activity rates overall than those who travel to school by bus or car. Additionally, participation in out-of-school activities can also be a key component in accessing needed physical activity.
If elected, what will you do to eliminate food deserts and increase access to and consumption of affordable, healthy food for all residents in Denver?
One in four children in Denver did not have enough to eat in 2012. In Denver neighborhoods, where at least half of residents earn low to moderate incomes, about half of those neighborhood residents live more than a quarter mile from a full service grocery store, thus limiting their access nutritious food. Residents in these “food deserts” become reliant on high calorie, processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages, which are the single greatest dietary contributor to obesity.
Would you be willing in principle to trade off a parking and/or travel lane to install a bike lane in your district?
Biking for transportation has been shown to be as effective as a structured exercise program in improving physical activity and fitness. Providing infrastructure to encourage bicycling in Denver can pay health and economic dividends to residents. The city has nearly 50 miles of roadway that cyclists must share with cars. Bike lanes of all types (and this inclusive definition is applies to the survey question) can help facilitate and encourage bicycling, but this is especially true of protected bike lanes. Nationally, municipalities have seen a 90% decrease in cycling accidents involving cars when protected bike lanes are installed. Denver installed its very first protected bike lane just last year.