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Denver: Building a Livable Streets Movement.


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A presentation by Streetsblog Founder and MIT Visiting Scholar Aaron Naparstek.

Congress for New Urbanism Colorado

March 19th, 2013 4-6pm.
Tattered Cover LoDo
1628 16th St, Denver, CO

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Denver: Building a Livable Streets Movement.

  1. 1. Streets are for People Building a Livable Streets Movement in DenverAaron Naparstek CNU Colorado@Naparstek Tuesday, March 19, Tattered Cover, Denver
  2. 2. Lets start with the French Revolution..."I promise to fight, withall the means at mydisposal, against theharmful, ever-increasingand unacceptablehegemony of theautomobile." -- Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, 2001.
  3. 3. Paris: The Mobilien bus rapid transit system.Local merchants hanged the mayor in effigy before deciding they loved it.
  4. 4. Paris:The Vélib bike-sharing system.
  5. 5. London: Make motorists pay a fee to drive into Central London.And use the funds to improve mass transit, biking and walking.
  6. 6. London: Removed motor vehicles from Trafalgar SquareBefore:After:
  7. 7. London:Car-free holiday shopping day on Oxford and Regent Streets
  8. 8. London:Turning Exhibition Road into a "Shared Space." Before After
  9. 9. Copenhagen:More than forty percent of commuters travel by bicycle.
  10. 10. Seoul: Removal of an elevated expresswayBefore After
  11. 11. Bogotá, Colombia:Bus Rapid Transit
  12. 12. Bogotá, Colombia Ciclovia: Car-free streets every Sunday.Essentially transforming the entire city into a park.
  13. 13. New York City transportation policy was stuck in gridlock"We like traffic, it means economic activity, it meanspeople coming here." -- Mayor Michael Bloomberg, August 2, 2006
  14. 14. The result of 80 years of car-oriented planning, design and engineering Estimated $13 billion per year in lost productivity in NYC, 2007. And misery. Source: Partnership for New York City
  15. 15. I launched Streetsblog in 2006.
  16. 16. The New York City Streets Renaissance Campaign
  17. 17. NYCSR invited influential thinkers and leaders to NYC.Enrique PenalosaMayor of Bogota Donald Shoup UCLA parking guru Jan Gehl Danish urban designer
  18. 18. The campaign put forward a new vision for NYC streets What if we thought of our streets as public spaces rather than transportation corridors?
  19. 19. City streets werent always just for carsMulberry Street, Manhattan’s Lower East Side, circa 1900. Source: Library of Congress Photocrom Collection
  20. 20. Park Avenue was once…Looking north from E. 50th Street circa 1996.
  21. 21. … a park!Looking north from E. 50th Street circa 1922.
  22. 22. Streets were once vibrant, mixed-use public spacesToday, kids often have to be driven to their play areas.
  23. 23. 1913 2005"Erosion of cities by automobiles entails so familiara series of events that they hardly need describing.The erosion proceeds as a kind of nibbling." -- Jane Jacobs
  24. 24. Plan your city for cars and traffic……Youll probably get cars and traffic.
  25. 25. Plan your city for great places filled with people……Youll probably get great places filled with people. The Strøget in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  26. 26. 1. Cover a daily beat around sustainable transport and livable streets issues.2. Watchdog and reform the New York City Department of Transportation.3. Show and spread new ideas for NYC’s streets.4. Create a community forum for high-quality discussion.
  27. 27. Daily headlines.Headline round-ups are a great way to define your beat and provide valuable service to readers.
  28. 28. Bring new ideas and best practices to your community Streetfilms (and web video, in general) is a great tool for this.
  29. 29. This Streetfilm helped to change policy in multiple cities. Streetfilms Bogota Ciclovia video
  30. 30. Hold government officials accountablePut them on notice: We are watching what you say and do.
  31. 31. Hold the local media accountable "A Second Avenue bike lane is next to the Israeli consulate, leaving many wondering what would happen if a man on a bike were a terrorist!"Local media often suffers from "windshield perspective."
  32. 32. Do rapid-response fact-checking.In fact, the exact opposite of that New York Times story is true.
  33. 33. Try to make wonky, complex policy issues more accessible.
  34. 34. Make stars out of your local activists…The annual Streetsie Awards: Activists of the Year
  35. 35. Celebrate the innovatorsChicagos new DOT Commissioner Gabe Klein
  36. 36. Dont be afraid to point out the villains Remember youre telling stories.
  37. 37. Have fun! Try to be entertaining.All blog posts about Mayoral candidate Anthony Weinermust include a photo of the Oscar Mayer weinermobile
  38. 38. One of my first examples of the power of Streetsblog Brooklyns Fifth Avenue.
  39. 39. In April 2007 Streetsblog got a hold of this secret plan.NYC DOT planned to convert 5th Avenue to one-way operation.
  40. 40. Streetsblog put a face and a name on these car-oriented policiesNo one had ever paid much attention to NYCs Chief Traffic Engineer
  41. 41. Streetsblog mobilized an unprecedented response700 peopleshowed up to alocal meetingthat normallywould haveattracted 35.
  42. 42. This is what livable streets advocacy looked like before the Internet
  43. 43. The Internet is your competitive advantage. “Digital networks have acted as a massive positive supply shock to the cost and spread of information, to the ease and range of public speech by citizens, and to the speed and scale of group coordination.” - NYU Professor Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody.
  44. 44. Use social media.The #BikeNYC hashtag on Twitter
  45. 45. Social media is incredibly powerful for advocacyThe Prospect Park West bike lane group on Facebook. 1,800+ members!
  46. 46. May 2007: Change comes to New York City. Janette Sadik-Khan takes over NYC DOT.
  47. 47. "Sustainable Streets" strategic planJanette Sadik-Khan takes over NYC DOT.
  48. 48. NYC DOT didnt "study." They implemented. Experimented. Before After DUMBO, Brooklyn
  49. 49. Busy intersection transformed into a public plaza. Ninth Avenue at 14th Street, Manhattan.
  50. 50. Busy intersection transformed into a public plaza. Ninth Avenue at 14th Street, Manhattan.
  51. 51. Highway-like avenues transformed into "complete streets."Before Ninth Avenue, Manhattan redesign: Reduced injuries to all users by 56%After
  52. 52. Herald Square, Broadway and 34th Street. Before
  53. 53. Herald Square, Broadway and 34th Street. Before
  54. 54. Car-Free Broadway at Times Square Before
  55. 55. Car-Free Broadway at Times Square Before
  56. 56. Projects that had been "impossible" for 40 years… Broadway at Times Square, Before
  57. 57. … started happeningBroadway at Times Square, After
  58. 58. Summer StreetsGiving New Yorkers a taste of more humane streets.
  59. 59. Summer StreetsDumpster swimming pool in front of Grand Central Terminal
  60. 60. Street yogaMidtown Manhattan street scene, 2012
  61. 61. Livable Streets are also happening in outer borough neighborhoods Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn. "Williamsburg Walks."
  62. 62. Street space is reallocated to more efficient modes of transportation Dedicated bus lanes, off-board fare collection, signal priority
  63. 63. Build-out of the citywide bicycle networkProtected bike path on Prospect Park West in Brooklyn.
  64. 64. These wide avenues arent all that different than Denvers First Avenue and E. 6th Street, Manhattan.
  65. 65. This infrastructure is creating a boom in biking The new protected bike path or “cycle track” on Manhattan’s busy 8th Avenue.
  66. 66. A 4x increase in bike commuting since 2000
  67. 67. Biking is becoming mainstreamIncreasingly viewed as "real" transportation.
  68. 68. Biking is increasingly seen as fashionable, cool, sexy, freeing. Being stuck inside a car is the opposite of that.
  69. 69. All the cool kids are doing itLeonardo DiCaprio and Blake Lively Beyonce
  70. 70. "Im 90-years-old and I ride this thing around everywhere."
  71. 71. Families are ditching the minivan. "My sons would rather go on a bike than any other form of transportation.” -- Liev SchreiberLiev Schreiber, Naomi Watts and their Workcycles Fr8 in NYC
  72. 72. Led to the largest increase in ground-floor retail rents in NYC in 2010 21% Increase in ground- floor retail rents in Times Square 4% Citywide average Source: Crains New York
  73. 73. Livable Streets are good for business Source: NYC DOT
  74. 74. Livable Streets provide substantial bang-for-the-buck. Source: NYC DOT
  75. 75. Streets with bike lanes are safer, better for business. Source: NYC DOT
  76. 76. New transit-oriented streets are also improving retail sales. Source: NYC DOT
  77. 77. Its not just a New York City phenomenon. All blogs ≈ 450 High-frequency local blogs ≈ 125 Monthly unique visitors > 390,804 Monthly pageviews > 1,375,909
  78. 78. The popular CicLAvia in car-loving Los Angeles
  79. 79. Chicagos Dearborn Street redesignA two-way protected bike plane through the heart of downtown.
  80. 80. Chicagos Dearborn Street redesignA two-way protected bike plane through the heart of downtown.
  81. 81. Seattle vs. Chicago "I expect not only to take all of [Seattles] bikers, but I also want the jobs that come with this." -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel
  82. 82. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinns response "Were updating our Bike Master Plan with a focus on cycle tracks and a network of safe neighborhood greenways. Amazon will construct a separated cycle track on 7th Avenue because that helps them attract employees. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said he wanted our bikers and our tech jobs. Were going to work to keep them here." -- Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn
  83. 83. Seattles Broadway complete street plan
  84. 84. Seattles 7th Avenue protected bike lane plan.
  85. 85. Where is Denver inthis conversation!?
  86. 86. Five tips for building a localLivable Streets movement
  87. 87. 1. Bring everyone together as one campaign.
  88. 88. 2. Get out on the street. Make your presence felt.350 people rally on a weekday morning to support a bike lane in Brooklyn. October 21, 2010.
  89. 89. 3. Create your own media channels and networks.
  90. 90. 4. Dont wait for permission! Dallas "Better Block" project
  91. 91. 5. Have fun. Its all about community.
  92. 92. Sometimes a city is ready for changeBut the citys leadership hasnt gotten the message yet.
  93. 93. Who is ready for aDenver Streets Renaissance?