The Mile High City is consistently hailed as one of the best places to live in the United States—and who are we to argue? But with an additional 1.5 million people expected to move to the Front Range by 2035, our treasured lifestyle may be at risk. We dug through reams of city-planning documents, talked to dozens of Coloradans, and put together a vision for the future of our city. Now, it's time to make this vision a reality.
Building boulevards for people—not just for cars.
Loaded with speeding and swerving cars, city streets can be difficult to navigate for mere humans—biking can be downright terrifying, while walking can feel like a game of Frogger. "We need to make the pedestrian the priority," says Matrix Design's Ken Schroeppel. "We've spent the last 50 years giving the automobile the priority at the expense of pedestrians and bikes."
Some folks get it: Property owners on downtown's 14th Street recently announced a $14 million streetscaping project, which will use Better Denver Bond funds to widen sidewalks, plant 200 trees, and add a dedicated bike lane—changes that will make the self-dubbed "Ambassador Street" more pedestrian-friendly.
In the end, 14th Street will look more like the walkable, retail-happy Highland neighborhood. Even Highland, though, has room for improvement. Here are a few things the neighborhood is doing right—and a couple it can improve.
- Wider sidewalks: So walkers can enjoy the streetscape.
- More Trees: Pleasant physical barriers stem pollution.
- Two-way streets: Force cars to slow down.
- Bulb-outs: Provide shorter crossing distances.
- Bike lanes: Cyclists are safest in dedicated lanes.