Shared Streets Coming Back

The air has been on a lot of our minds this week. While it may be easy to simply blame our current air quality on wildfires, the truth is that these fires have become more prevalent as California’s climate has shifted to a drought condition. Without change, smoky skies may become the norm in the mountain west. In Denver, this pollution is exacerbated by ozone particles worsened by traffic. We seem to be stuck in a loop and it can be hard to see the best path forward. This week, we also learned that Denver is rolling back their Shared Streets program, and returning several streets to car traffic. We’re seeing car culture prevail over climate action.

We need bold action. We need it now—at all levels of government. We find taking collective action to be energizing (and we could all use some energy right now) so we invite you to take the following actions:

Locally:

  • Call your City Council member and let them know that decisions they make related to transportation are directly related to climate change. Ask them to prioritize our planet and health over the convenience of single occupancy vehicle drivers. Here’s a script and all the info you need. Let us know how your conversation goes.
  • Join your Registered Neighborhood Organization or other neighborhood group. We need people like you making the connection between climate and transportation at all decision making tables.

At the state level:

  • Tomorrow the Colorado Department of Transportation will release their draft Greenhouse Gas Pollution Standard for the transportation sector. You can catch up on what to expect and why this is so important in this recorded webinar hosted by our friends at 350 Colorado, Sierra Club, Conservation Colorado, CoPIRG, and others last week. We’ll be following up in the coming weeks with ways to get more involved.

Nationally:

  • The Senate Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill has historic funding for public transit but also has historic funding for highways. As our friends at Transportation for America said, “you cannot fill a hole with a teaspoon that’s still being dug with an excavator.” This is not the kind of legislation we need to meet this urgent moment. DSP is reaching out to Denver’s U.S. Representatives (since the ball is back in their court) to let them know our priorities (spoiler: expanding highways is not one of them). Join us by doing the same.

Transportation and climate are inextricably linked so you can expect more updates and actions related to the two from DSP.