02

Blog

Mixed Reactions From the Moving People Forward Conference

This past Monday I attended the Moving People Forward conference in downtown Denver. The conference was hosted by Bicycle Colorado in lieu of their annual Colorado Bike Summit which has been moved to later in the year.

Leaving the conference I had mixed emotions from my attendance. As I boarded the commuter rail back to my suburban neighborhood I asked myself a few questions.

What did I learn? What surprised me? How do I feel about mobility in Colorado after the day’s events?

Budget Over Vision

Moving People Forward Brent Toderian

The ever inspiring Brent Toderian kicked off the day by reviewing how cities across the world are leading the transportation transformation, his experiences in Colorado the day before and his recommendations on how we could make positive changes to our state’s mobility planning. Within his slides, he showed examples of cities prioritizing humans and places over moving more cars. Brent also discussed how important a city or state’s budget is, and how the budget truly shows a city’s aspiration. I hope his speech was eye opening for those in the audience and a gut check that Colorado really isn’t doing many things well for transportation or mobility in our state.

After Brent, we heard from Denver’s Mayor Hancock. This is the moment in the conference I moved from excitement to hope. In his speech, there were standout quotes such as,

“We need to absolutely transform our city from a car-centric city to a people-centric network.”
Mayor Hancock

In the end, it turned out his war cry for a people-centric network is going to be funded by a proposed bond. This is a reasonable solution. No, it really is. We MUST find money to create safer streets and projects, but why aren’t we finding it in our current budget? Why are we continuing to prioritize transportation funding to vehicles instead of humans?

Colorado Governor Hickenlooper echoed Mayor Hancock in his commitment to biking. It seemed the governor’s aides did not clue him in that the conference was on moving people and not solely biking as 100% of his speech was on bicycling around Colorado. It would have been wonderful to hear about mobility and complete street projects across the state.

The Denver Director of Transportation and Mobility, Crissy Fanganello, led a great update on biking and walking in Denver. She spoke about the numbers for both walking and biking, and I would love to see her slides as she had to rush through a few of them due to timing. Her well-prepared presentation ended in a request for everyone in the room to drive safer and obey the speed limit. I believe Crissy meant well for this closing remark. It did come across as her turning the blame from the city’s infrastructure to the forward focused transportation audience in front of her. We will be jumping into this topic over the upcoming weeks and look forward to a heated discussion.

Data. What data?

One of the breakout sessions I sat in on was on the Data Revolution. As a recovering data analyst, I had great hopes that we would see jaw-dropping stats, graphs, and revolution creating numbers.

In reality, People for Bikes pitched their new program, Places for Bikes. Their Director of Research went through the details of the ranking system for places, and their goals of the program. It is an exciting carrot for cities and towns, and we will have a separate article on Places for Bikes soon.

Another company, See Click Fix, talked about their system to allow citizens to report concerns and issues through a central app or website to their city. The program looks amazing but will rely heavily on a city staffer to monitor and delegate the concerns.

Finally, Peter Kozinski, Director of the Colorado DOT RoadX Program discussed the uphill battle that CDOT has, and their RoadX Bicycle and Pedestrian Challenge to encourage public ideas on designing a better transportation system.

The open panel discussion at the end of the presentations was helpful and opened a dialogue between citizen, city and town stakeholders. It would be great to see a follow-up webinar on how agencies to citizens can use open source data to tell a compelling story. How can we use freely available data to make a sharpened pitch for clear channels of funding from the city, state?

Next Steps

These conferences always leave me equally inspired and perplexed on what the next steps are as a citizen, advocate and transportation catalyst.

How can I have a greater impact on the mobility and transportation cause? How can we educate and then amplify this social justice?

I will continue to tackle these questions and thoughts in the upcoming weeks with articles and videos on our Bike Law channels.

Comments

Bike Law Kickr Review
Feb 20, 2017

A 500-mile initial review of the Wahoo Kickr Indoor trainer, why we purchased it and who we think it is for.

Read More
Hazards of Biking with a GoPro or Garmin
Feb 15, 2017

Did you know that there are reasons for riding with and without cameras strapped to your handlebars and embedded within your tail lights?

Read More
Cycling Law Enforcement Training in Georgia
Feb 10, 2017

CBS Atlanta News This past November, Fulton County elected a new sheriff. (Yes, there’s literally a New Sheriff in Town.) During the run-up to the election, one of the candidates posted a tasteless video of John Wayne shooting guns and seemingly taking out cyclists. This created a huge backlash. One of the candidates for Sheriff, […]

Read More
2017 Moving People Forward Conference
Feb 08, 2017

This past Monday I attended the Moving People Forward conference in downtown Denver. The conference was hosted by Bicycle Colorado in lieu of their annual Colorado Bike Summit which has been moved to later in the year. Leaving the conference I had mixed emotions from my attendance. As I boarded the commuter rail back to my […]

Read More
Olga Cook Ghost Bike
Feb 02, 2017

The New Jersey man charged with felony manslaughter for striking and killing cyclist Olga Cook in the bike lane on the West Side Highway has agreed to plead guilty to all charges.

Read More
Bike Law - 2017 Fat Bike Nationals
Feb 01, 2017

A recap of the 2017 Fat Bike Nationals held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Words from Bryan Waldman, and photo credit goes to Bike Law cyclocross racer, Wade Burch.

Read More
Cyclist Stop Sign
Jan 30, 2017

Bike Law fully supports the Colorado Safety Stop Law, Senate Bill 93, that was introduced by Senator Andy Kerr to rethink the, “Operation Of Bicycles Approaching Intersections”.

Read More
Bike Law USA Cycling Team
Jan 26, 2017

As a step toward increasing the safety of cycling and advocating for the rights of cyclists, we are pleased to announce a partnership between the Bike Law Network of Independent Bicycle Attorneys and USA Cycling.

Read More
Bike Law Michigan Mechanic Award
Jan 17, 2017

Bicycle mechanics are referred to as the unsung heroes of the peloton. They are also the unsung, and often unrecognized, heroes for local bike shops and most cyclists. Show some love for your mechanic by nominating him/her to be considered for the Bike Law Michigan Mechanic of the Year Award. 1 winner will receive a […]

Read More
Bike Law Manifesto 02
Jan 16, 2017

Our second principle is a gentle reminder of why we always turn to the bike.
“Nothing else allows us the independence, pleasure, and power to move so far, so fast, with so little effort.”

Read More
Michigan Needs Better Cycling Laws
Jan 13, 2017

After two years of a dramatic increase of bicyclists killed by car crashes in Michigan, there is a clear connection between these deaths and the lack of laws to protect cyclists.

Read More
DC Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act
Jan 12, 2017

In 2016, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) was a standout group in their unrelenting advocacy work to push forward the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act protecting all vulnerable road users.

Read More
Load More