Friday: Show Some Love for Vision Zero and Walk, Bike, and Ride to City Hall
It’s just a matter of time until Mayor Michael Hancock officially adopts Vision Zero, a commitment to eliminate traffic deaths in a specific time frame. There’s money in the city budget to develop a plan, plus walking, biking, and transit advocates formed the Vision Zero Coalition in December to make sure that plan has teeth. What’s missing is a formal commitment from Hancock.
It’s unclear exactly when that will happen. In the meantime VZC is rallying support from every corner of the city to show Hancock why Denver needs a paradigm shift to prioritize safe walking and biking on city streets.
The coalition’s first major event is this Friday: The Valentine’s Day Love-In for Vision Zero. People will converge on the Denver City and County Building by foot, bike, and transit, in what organizers say will be a show of strength for the livable streets movement. Once they get there, advocates will deliver hand-signed Valentines from Denverites that declare their love for safe streets “and support for the swift, complete, and equitable implementation of Vision Zero projects and policies in Denver.”
“I think one of our roles in Vision Zero can be helping the greater community understand that we have this chronic pain right now in our community — this status quo of a certain number of deaths happening on our streets,” said BikeDenver Executive Director Molly North. “One of the ways that BikeDenver can actively participate is through community engagement.”
BikeDenver held a similar event last year, asking Hancock to unite the heart of Denver by creating a safe way to bike on Broadway. A year later, Hancock’s Public Works Department has made progress on a protected bike lane along the Broadway/Lincoln corridor. If you can’t make it to the love-in, sign the virtual valentine to show your support.
Twenty people were killed while walking or biking in Denver last year. Per capita, Denver streets are nearly three times as deadly as Seattle, which adopted a Vision Zero goal last year. Hancock has a chance to save dozens of lives by adopting and carrying out Vision Zero.
So take your pick: Walk or use a wheelchair from the Fillmore Auditorium, take the RTD MallRide from Union Station, or bike from 26th and Blake at 11 a.m. this Friday and show Hancock that you support safe streets for all.