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

Human Shield Bike Lane
Bruce Hagen Jul 29, 2019

If you ride bikes around Atlanta, chances are that you know Niklas Vollmer and Andreas Wolfe.  They’re some of the many people in town who seem to live on their bikes and can be seen riding everywhere.  While they both have their “day jobs,” folks in the cycling world know them for their place in […]

Read More
Bruce Hagen Jul 19, 2019

This is a time when advocacy efforts are crucial to making our streets safer for everyone. Within 24 hours from the Two Wheel Tuesday gathering we suffered two more casualties.  On Wednesday morning, Marten Bijvank was on his way to work on his bicycle when he was struck and killed by an unlicensed DUI driver […]

Read More
AJ's Bicycle Shop in Iowa
Jim Freeman Jul 15, 2019

Bicycling Magazine recently published an article titled, “Hey, Bike Shops; Stop Treating Customers Like Garbage.”  The story follows a heavy-set 59 year old’s sad tale of how he was treated poorly from a number of local bike shops.   First and foremost, I would be clear that bikes are for almost everyone.  If you are big, […]

Read More
Bike accident scene
Rick Bernardi Jul 12, 2019

The big bike news out of the Oregon legislature this year was the passage of a Stop as Yield law. This was an enormous legislative victory for Oregon cyclists, the culmination of over a decade of advocacy. But it wasn’t the only legislative victory for Oregon cyclists this legislative session. A less glamorous but equally […]

Read More
Uber Biking Escort
Charlie Thomas Jul 11, 2019

I often find myself wanting to ride on a roadway corridor that doesn’t want me there. At best, I could make it across alive with some close calls and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. At worst, I wouldn’t be around to write this blog post.  Of course, a safer, alternate route […]

Read More
Cycling Without Age Bike Law
Brian Weiss Jul 11, 2019

The founder of the Lakewood Bicycle Advisory Team loves his life on two wheels. Gary Harty was born in Bellows Falls, Vermont, and raised in Colorado – Denver Metro area, and now makes bicycling in Lakewood, Colorado safe and fun.  Gary is part of the baby boomer generation. He attended Colorado State University (CSU) and […]

Read More
Rachael Maney Bike Law
Rachael Maney Jul 10, 2019

Outrage.  It is what drives action and engagement on the interwebs these days. If it’s not outrageous, it’s boring. The Election of 2018 proved that outrage increases TOS (“time on site”) more than friendship, sympathy, desire, or anything else.  Judgment. By definition it is necessary to reach any conclusion about anything. But passing it on […]

Read More
Stop as Yield for Cyclists
Rick Bernardi Jul 09, 2019

The Oregon Legislature made national news this past week, for all the wrong reasons. The State Senate, with a super-majority of Democrats in control, had been working on climate legislation which would have Oregon join a cap-and-trade market with California and Quebec. Unable to stop the legislation, Republican Senators fled the state en masse, preventing […]

Read More
Bike Law Alps
Charlie Thomas Jul 07, 2019

It’s Tour de France time. I follow the racing daily through the footage on TV feed and still photos. But I hadn’t ever considered what’s happening on the other side of the camera lens. Like, what actually goes into snapping these pictures that we see documenting the Tour’s happenings? I started to care more about […]

Read More
E Bike and insurance
Lauri Boxer-Macomber Jul 01, 2019

Prologue  Last month, I rode across the Casco Bay Bridge to talk e-bikes and insurance with Bob O’Brien, the Vice President of Noyes, Hall and Allen Insurance in South Portland, Maine.  Although I have yet to invest in an e-bike for myself, I have been captivated by e-bikes and their potential to get and keep […]

Read More
Brooke Nelson
Danny Feldman Jul 01, 2019

Brooke Nelson has been the ride director of the Cheaha Challenge (www.cheahachallange.com) since shortly after the 2014 ride and in the past 5 years, ride participation has increased 188%.  Since 2017 when it became the only UCI Qualifier, Alabama’s biggest ride has become known nationally and internationally.  The 2019 ride had participants from 31 states […]

Read More
Joe Piscitello Jun 20, 2019

Thanks to some outstanding advocacy efforts, both the state of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia have recently scored two important wins for cycling safety. Pennsylvania:  “Dutch Reach” in State Driver’s Manual The “Dutch Reach” method of opening a car door has finally been added to the State Driver’s Manual after many years of conversation. […]

Read More
Load More