In the fifth and sixth paragraphs of the recent Denver Post editorial regarding the mix of drivers and other users on city streets, the Post notes that the city has an upcoming request to voters for bond reauthorization and choices to make about spending. They say that the city’s needs include new recreation centers, libraries, and parks among other things. Of course, given the rest of the editorial, it seems as though they’re only interested in being able to drive to these amenities. And if you’re already driving, why do you need something close by? We might as well just centralize everything and have everyone drive to these larger, more efficient facilities. Neighborhood amenities should be close enough to safely walk or bike to, on infrastructure of equal quality to that dedicated to moving cars at breakneck speed (for pedestrians caught in their path).
The Post says that they’re “glad to hear Hancock tell Denver Post TV that mobility would be a priority” and then in the very next sentence, the Post turns around and says that “We might learn to rue the day, however, if Hancock jumps on this … bandwagon being driven by the anti-car movement.” So which is it, do they want mobility or cars? Do they want mobility or unsafe streets? Do they want mobility or less options for getting around town? To the Post, it appears the only valid form of mobility is a personal car. Anything else is an inconvenience, an imposition, or at best a childish wish by people less informed than they.
The Post also uses the phrase “anti-car movement” which is typical auto-centric hogwash. To them, any person who asks for a portion of the space on streets for biking is “anti-car.” To them, any person who points out that buses work better in dedicated lanes is “anti-car.” To them, any person who says that slower, safer streets create greater economic opportunity and property value than prioritizing the movement of speeding cars is “anti-car.” None of these positions is anti-car. The vast majority of people who hold these positions do drive cars, but what they don’t do is build their lives around the fragile reality that only a car can get them where they need to go.
If Denver truly wishes to prosper, it needs to spend less money on moving cars and more money on moving people.
This is Part 4 of a six-part response to the Denver Post editorial of February 23, 2017. Photo courtesy of WalkDenver.