How realistic is Denver Mayor Michael Hancock's ambitious new mobility plan?

Adds bike lanes and bus rapid transit
Posted at 7:09 PM, Jul 11, 2017

DENVER -- Take any driver to a car wash, and they'll gladly get out of their car. But ask them to ditch their car altogether? Now that's a different story.

"What would it take to get you out of your car," asked Denver7 reporter Jennifer Kovaleski.

"Ummm, I can't do that," said driver Adrian Rondon.

"Nope, nope, nope, nope," said another driver.

"[laughing] - I really don't know," said driver Jerry Klassen.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock hopes to encourage more drivers to do just that with his new $2 billion mobility plan. Hancock's goal is to reduce the number of people who drive alone to work from 73% to 50% by 2030.

"We're fighting this Westerner mentality of 'we all need our cars,'" said University of Denver Sustainability Director Chad King.

King said he knows driving habits won't change overnight but believes Hancock's Mobility Action Plan can work, if it's done right and doesn't add to commute times.

Hancock unveiled his plan during his annual State of the City Address on Monday. It adds more protected bike lanes, bus rapid transit on streets like Colfax, and improves sidewalks throughout the city.

"Options that get people to transit and to light rail quicker will really help those options flourish," explained King.

The Denver Post Editorial Boardcalled the Mayor's vision "forward thinking," but also "a little patronizing to suggest that Denver can lure vastly more drivers in our sprawling city to either carpool or leave their vehicles altogether."

"I'd probably be pretty tough to get me out of my truck," said Klassen.

For now, Drivers like Klassen aren't ready to change their driving habits, but at the same time, he knows to fix Denver's gridlock something has to change.

"It's a problem, and I appreciate efforts to find a solution," said Klassen.

Hancock's staff is expected to lay out their plans for Denver's spending bond on Wednesday at 10 a.m., which will provide more details about how much money the Mayor wants to put toward fixing roads versus new bike lanes.

Denver voters will be asked to approve the bond this November. If approved, half of the money will be used to fund the mayor's new mobility plan.