- At proposed bus stop locations for a transit amenity, any sidewalk or concrete pad in the public right-of-way (ROW) that is either non-existent or inadequate are the responsibility of permittees to provide in accordance with city standards.
- Amenities must by inspected, cleaned, serviced and repaired by the permittee at prescribed minimum intervals. (By the way, someone posted a comment to my last DenverUrbanism post describing how difficult it can be for someone to get a response from vendors to follow through on this commitment.)
- For every four permits, standard TAP program permit holders are on the hook for something called a “bench note”. The city uses these bench notes to respond to significant demand for bus stop amenities such as benches, and U-bike racks. Importantly, these bench notes can and do go unused. Specifically, the regulations say that, “The total number of bench notes used per year will depend upon the number of bus stop bench requests received by Denver Public Works from the public and City council.” I’d like to see the list of features that bench notes can be redeemed for expanded to include landscaping and lighting, which, alongside benches and shelters, can make a huge difference in one’s transit experience.
This analysis remains incomplete without some numbers to illustrate the risks (the ratio of TAP program single year to five-year PPORPs) and potential (the current number of unredeemed bench notes) of the TAP program – numbers that I was unable to track down.
Notwithstanding, I think it’s extremely valuable for transit commuters to know that there’s essentially a bank of bench notes that, with enough expressed demand, the city may be able to tap into to prioritize unmet needs at bus stop locations, and at little to no cost to taxpayers.
If there’s a question about an existing bus stop feature then you should call 720-91-FIX-IT; however, some might be inclined to reach out to the your area’s ROW inspector (find them using this map here) to discuss applicable bus stop maintenance concerns. Requests to Denver Public Works for a particular bus stop bench should be directed to 3-1-1 or PocketGov Denver.
In name only is the TAP program about transit amenities. Making inroads into Denver’s mobility goals requires reframing a bus stop bench or shelter as a basic “must” and not as an amenity for many existing and would-be transit commuters. (I’ve already touched on the negative consequences of not appropriately prioritizing bus transit commuters’ experience in a past DenverUrbanism post here.)
Let’s applaud the city for TAP, but not let it off the hook for taking concrete steps to ensure that private permit holders understand their role in advancing Denver’s plans for greatly improving public transit ridership.