Bicycle Colorado’s annual Moving People Forward conference was held virtually this year from February 9-18. In addition to English, live interpretation services made the conference accessible in Spanish, Vietnamese, and American Sign Language. Panel sessions included: Road to Reparations: Race and Reckoning through mobility Policy; Redefining safety in Colorado’s transportation system; Shaping inclusive cities through land use, housing and transportation policy; Designing streets for all abilities and Undoing systemic racism through equitable planning. Each session was accompanied by a Storyteller session, presented by a community member highlighting the lived experience related to each topic.

Keynote: Road to Reparations: Race and Reckoning through mobility Policy

Dr. Destiny Thomas, Founder, and CEO of  The Thrivance Group, opened the conference, presenting the ongoing impact of the legacy of harm embedded in the built environment, including transit’s direct connection with exploitation and displacement. Dr. Thomas offered a framework for approaching actions within the built environment with considerations for atonement and dignity.

Panel 1: Redefining safety in Colorado’s transportation system; Shaping inclusive cities through land use, housing, and transportation policy

This session explored what safety and security mean across communities. This session began with a call to consider how transportation decisions and policy advocacy must expand to consider the implications of traffic violence as well as personal violence resulting from discriminatory policy. Speakers shared multiple perspectives on designing and managing systems related to mobility in the environment.  Notable points included addressing historical harm embedded in marginalized communities before encouraging people to use active transportation. Also, evaluating security protocol to better serve and foster a sense of safety in all users.

Considerations for moving forward included recognizing that the definition of safety is not monolithic and that beyond safety, people deserve to arrive at their destinations free from trauma incurred between departure to destination points. Therefore, planning must include perspectives and voices from multiple identities.

Panel 2: Shaping inclusive cities through land use, housing, and transportation policy

Speakers explored the intersection of land use, transportation, and equity. This session began with a historical overview detailing the displacement of marginalized communities in the interest of transportation and recreation infrastructure. Panelists shared recent data linking gentrification to improvements such as bike lanes, bus shelters, and transit routes. With this foundational understanding of past harms, how can future expansions and enhancements respond in a way that will center equity and dignity and recognize all residents as stakeholders? Some steps identified included the importance of dismantling codified marginalization through zoning, community-led planning, and intentional consideration of unintended consequences, often resulting in property loss and displacement.

For more information on sessions, visit the following link:

https://www.bicyclecolorado.org/events/moving-people-forward/moving-people-forward-2021/