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Voters Approve Measure To Improve Denver Roads, Sidewalks During Deadly Year

By Rachel Smith

DENVER (CBS4)- Those fighting to make Denver streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians just scored a big win on the November ballot. Unofficial results show 61% of Denver voters said yes to ballot measure 2-C.

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(credit: CBS)

The measure dedicates $63.3 million for transportation projects in Denver, including expansions to sidewalks and improving bike lanes.

The city's goal is to have zero traffic-related death and injuries by 2030, but Denver is headed in the wrong direction to accomplish that goal. Seventy people have already died on Denver roads in 2021, putting Denver on track for one of its deadliest years for traffic fatalities on record. Denver's Vison Zero Dashboard shows that 25 of those deaths were pedestrians, bicyclists or e-scooter riders.

Cyclist David Mintzer says he's noticed an increase in road rage as more people return to work in the office and end up commuting on Denver roads.

"There's a lot less patience on the road," said Minzter, adding that he's grateful for improvements, like protected bike lanes.

He noted that most intersections are still missing bike signals, "Those would allow bikes to proceed through the intersection straight without cars turning right into them as they go through."

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Pedestrians say that there are frustrations on the side of the roadways as well. Shannon Kuehl walks to work daily, and says that many Denver sidewalks aren't enough to handle Denver's foot traffic.

"There are so many people commuting just by foot. Those sidewalks get very thin, and if one other person is there you have to step into the road." Kuehl said.

Question 2C asks for $63,320,000 in bonds to repair and improve the city's transportation and mobility system. That price tag is expected to cover new bicycle infrastructure in the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, South and Central Denver neighborhoods. It is also expected to address the 300 miles of sidewalk gaps in Denver, with an emphasis on building and improving sidewalks in underserved neighborhoods.

The bond measure also funds reconstruction of Morrison Road, improvements to Peoria Street and developing the 5280 Trail through Denver's downtown neighborhoods.

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Minzter knows that ballot measure 2C won't change roads or drivers overnight, but says it's a big step towards safer streets.

"If there's infrastructure in the road, that slows drivers down, that gives some protection to people in the bike lane and on the sidewalk, it just makes it safer for everybody."

LINK: Vision Zero

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