Polis, Hancock, Sadik-Khan: Highlights From Today’s Bicycle Conference

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaking at the Bicycle Colorado Moving Forward Conference Feb. 7, 2019. Photo: Andy Bosselman, Streetsblog.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock gave uninspiring speeches at Bicycle Colorado’s Moving People Forward conference today in Denver. But the two followed Janette Sadik-Khan, the former New York City transportation commissioner whose book “Streetfight” calls for an “urban revolution.”  (Read the Streetsblog Denver interview.)

Sadik-Khan helped the Big Apple transform its streets from dangerous, car-clogged parking lots into great places for walking, biking, transit and hanging out. But those upgrades required narrowing traffic lanes, removing parking spaces and even closing streets to cars. And Mayor Bloomberg, who she served, had to overcome — or ignore — ferocious opposition from neighborhood groups and the press as these changes were implemented.

Sadik-Khan gave her talk to a room of roughly 200, which included many civic leaders. She praised Denver’s investment in a regional rail network, but challenged the officials in the room to do even more.

“It is such an impressive down payment on the future of this region,” she said about FasTracks. “But you need to provide solutions in downtown so people can move around once they get there.”

The governor and mayor offered some good talking points, but neither indicated that they have the stomach for the backlash Bloomberg endured as Sadik-Khan transformed how New Yorkers get around.

Below are photos from the talks of  the Governor, Mayor and Sadik-Khan followed by quotes, many from Bicycle Colorado’s tweets during the conference.


Gov. Jared Polis.
Gov. Jared Polis. Photo: Andy Bosselman, Streetsblog.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis

“We should be making it easier and safer to bike. That’ll be a goal of Shoshana Lew and @ColoradoDOT.” – @GovofCO — Bicycle Colorado (@BicycleColo) February 7, 2019

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. Photo: Andy Bosselman, Streetsblog.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. Photo: Andy Bosselman, Streetsblog.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock

Janette Sadik-Khan
Janette Sadik-Khan, keynote speaker at the Bicycle Colorado Moving People Forward conference. Photo: Andy Bosselman, Streetsblog Denver.

Janette Sadik-Khan

“Once you show people what’s possible, then THEY demand it.” – @JSadikKhan — Bicycle Colorado (@BicycleColo) February 7, 2019

“People are way ahead of the press and their politicians when it comes to the streets.” – @JSadikKhan — Bicycle Colorado (@BicycleColo) February 7, 2019

“You’ve got so many wide roads here. So much room to play with. So much room for mischief!” – @JSadikKhan on Colorado’s roadways. — Bicycle Colorado (@BicycleColo) February 7, 2019

“You can make it happen, it just takes political will and commitment and courage. And you all are doing it.” – @JSadikKhan #MPFCO — Bicycle Colorado (@BicycleColo) February 7, 2019

Eulois Cleckley, executive director of Denver’s Department of Public Works
Eulois Cleckley, executive director of Denver’s Department of Public Works, is in charge of implementing many of the city’s walking, biking and transit improvements. Photo: Andy Bosselman, Streetsblog Denver.
  • iBikeCommute

    I wish DPW would realize that park avenue shares many of the same features as broadway in NYC making it a good candidate for closure to car traffic. The diagonal street interrupts the grid, creating many dangerous and inefficient 5 way intersections. Closing down the street would likely make the grid run better and actually decrease congestion.

  • deadindenver

    Mayor Hancock has mastered the neoliberal art of virtue signaling the politically correct responses. But he’s truly just a shill for developers that currently control Denver. In his reign, Denver has barely maintained existing bicycle infrastructure let alone move ahead. Newly elected and independently wealthy, Governor Polis could stand apart, however so far he seemly is not inclined to do so. Probably already worried about re-election. Mayor Bloomberg had the advantage of being a massively wealthy Independent, not beholden to anyone or any group.

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