Denver7 Reports: A Car Guy Hates a Biking and Walking Project, Therefore It’s Bad
It’s Halloween and the local ABC affiliate Denver7 is up to some tricks.
In a segment that aired yesterday, reporter Jackie Crea interviewed a guy who doesn’t like changes meant to calm traffic speeds and improve conditions for walking and biking at the intersection of Morrison Road, Alameda Avenue, and Knox Court.
Crea spoke to a driver named Greg Dare and no one else — but Denver7 went with the headline, “Bike-Friendly Changes Unfriendly to Some” for its broadcast. The headline on the station’s website boldly proclaims, “Denver’s push to make city more bike-friendly may have hit a snag.”
Apologies to Mr. Dare, but he is a random man on the street, not a “snag” in the city’s multi-year initiative to make walking and biking safer. One driver with an uninformed opinion yelling on camera does not constitute an indictment of a project that uses engineering techniques proven to save lives and prevent serious injuries.
Crea didn’t bother to out them on camera, but a broad cross-section of neighborhood groups spoke to the city about what they wanted from this project before it was designed and built. LiveWell Westwood, Westwood Unidos, Westwood Registered Neighborhood Organization, Westwood LRC, BuCu West, and the City Council local district office all worked with Denver Public Works on it.
Instead Crea gives us noted urban infrastructure expert Greg Dare. “I see a waste of materials, and it’s Denver’s tax dollars,” he says, as if tax dollars can only be spent on car infrastructure. “And plus, uh, it’s dangerous.”
But it’s the previous design that was dangerous. Crea could have consulted the 2013 Knox Court Bike Boulevard Study, which made the case for these changes. Between 2009 and 2011, there were 44 crashes at this intersection and one person was killed. Drivers struck eight people walking and biking here between 2012 and 2015, according to the city’s Vision Zero dashboard.
The project is not even finished. It’s still waiting on new signs, pavement markings, and a bicycle signal. When complete, DPW will have retrofitted this intersection and a good portion of the South Knox Court corridor — which includes two schools — with the following:
- a wide multi-use path (which Dare says is “twice what they need”) for people walking and biking in both directions on Knox
- curb extensions to shorten crossings and force drivers to turn more carefully
- stop signs
- 20 mph speed limits (down from 25)
- vehicle turn restrictions
- a block of Nevada Place that’s one-way for cars and two-way for bikes
But as Crea reports, “Today it’s not working out so well for Greg.” Welp, Greg’s grumpy, better rethink this whole safety thing.