Severe Underfunding Hurts Denver Bike Plan
"The Denver Moves plan, approved in May 2011 when Mayor Michael Hancock was still on the City Council, aimed to add 270 miles of mostly on-street bike lanes as well as multi-use trails to the 172 miles that existed then." Since then, only portions of that goal have been realized.
The problem is obvious: minimal funds allocated to the plan. A recent audit "found that the city has carved off just $2.8 million for bike lanes and pedestrian-oriented projects from its capital improvement fund since 2013. That's a smidgen of the plan's overall estimated cost of $119 million."
"'Talk is cheap, and apparently so is the funding of the plan,' said a statement issued by Auditor Dennis Gallagher, who will end his third and final term Monday as Tim O'Brien takes office. 'The mayor and City Council have identified Denver Moves as one of the city's foremost priorities, yet insufficient funding is resulting in a failure to meet the goal of an easy-to-use network for bicycle and pedestrian transportation.'"
"On the larger question of funding, both Gallagher and O'Brien, an Audit Committee member, expressed hope that the audit would spur budget discussions by the mayor and City Council about potential solutions."
The article includes a copy of the audit documentation.