Environment

Photos: Bike safety campaigns that could be a model for Denver's

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Daelene Mix, director of communications for the Manager of Safety's Office, who helped organize the bike safety campaign meeting, says she thought this kind of effort was important given the growing attention around bike accidents. "There seems to be a need for a safety campaign," she says. "And in my opinion, I don't think it's just about bicycles. I really think it's about multi-modal awareness."

She adds, "Denver prides itself on being a walkable, bikeable city."

Like many at the meeting, she emphasizes that it is not about casting blame, but about encouraging awareness and changes in behavior, as is seen in some of the campaigns in other cities.

"It's not just about motorists...or bicyclists," she says. "It's about being conscious of your environment and being conscious of the fact that we are one of those cities on the rise as far as having a diverse transportation system. We want it to be safe for everyone."

John Hayden, chair of the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Coalition, who was one of the critical voices at the meeting, says he doesn't want to see the city pour money into an effort that is basically just ads on the street -- especially considering some of the more active initiatives with ambassadors and education that other cities have.

"They...want to put some signs on buses that [say]... 'Bicycles stop at red lights, or 'Cars, be nice to bicycles,'" he says. "That's what I think that meeting was about, and I think...it's a waste of money.... To have that be the focus of their energy is unfortunate."

He adds that education and better infrastructure have to be a part of the discussion.

"If we are talking about bicycle safety, we have to be talking about all of it," he says. "And they didn't want to talk about all of it -- they wanted to talk about a PR campaign, which has its place, absolutely, but not independently."

Continue for the full Public Works report on peer cities.

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Sam Levin
Contact: Sam Levin