- supports access to safe, comfortable and connected active transportation facilities (such as shared-use paths, bike lanes and sidewalks) for people of all ages, incomes and abilities;
- encourages active transportation options for rural, suburban and urban communities;
- encourages active transportation facilities that connect the network and region efficiently and comfortably, including those that provide connections to transit; and
- supports the Denver region’s vision to improve safety, reduce vehicle miles traveled, decrease the number of people driving alone and improve the region’s air quality.
Safety is a priority.
Bicyclists and pedestrians are involved in 3 percent of all crashes, but 24 percent of all traffic-related fatalities involve a pedestrian or bicyclist. Bicyclists and pedestrians are some of the most vulnerable users of the transportation system, so keeping active transportation users safe from vehicle traffic is important. Research has demonstrated that planning for and implementing facilities to increase the safety of people who walk and bicycle also improves safety for drivers. Bicycle and pedestrian trips are expected to increase at a faster rate than both population and vehicle miles traveled, so as more people chose active transportation, supporting the implementation of safe, comfortable and connected facilities is critical.
High-comfort facilities support more people.
Safe, connected and accessible active transportation networks are especially important for households without motor vehicles, older adults, and people with mobility disabilities. In the Denver metro area, 59 percent of the population are interested but concerned when it comes to bicycling, so improving the comfort of bicycle facilities is a key component in encouraging more people to choose active transportation. The region’s aging population emphasizes the need for safe and accessible alternatives to driving. Older adults who no longer feel safe driving, or who do not have the physical or financial ability to drive, are often limited from performing daily activities if they cannot travel on their own, causing impacts like social isolation and inactivity.