Ditch the Ditch Protesters' Collision Course with Transportation's Anthony Foxx
Denver is a Smart City finalist.
Transportation issues could create a real traffic jam in Denver today. A coalition of local and national business, environmental and transportation groups are hosting the second annual Live.Ride.Share conference, an event devoted to the growing technology-driven transportation trends, at the Colorado Convention Center. Meanwhile, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx will be just blocks away at Mile High United Way, at a community roundtable discussing Denver's Smart City Challenge proposal. And protesters plan to be there, too.
Denver is one of seven finalists in the Department of Transportation contest, which will award the winner $50 million; final proposals are due May 24.
Crissy Fanganello, Denver's director of Transportation, will be on today's Live.Ride.Share program; she touted Denver's finalist status in the Smart City Challenge at last week's 2016 State of Downtown presentation. (You can see the city's proposal — summed up with the phrase "connect more with less"— here.)
Department of Transportation
Although Foxx has shown an interest in alternatives to urban highways, members of the "Ditch the Ditch" crowd concerned about the proposed expansion of I-70 complain that they haven't been invited to be part of the program — but they are planning on showing up at 2:30 p.m. anyway. "Unfortunately, 'community' has not been invited to this 'Community Roundtable,' says Candi CdeBaca, who's been posting news of the protest. "Well, we know we don't want miss out on a meeting that has our name on it even if we weren't invited!.... The City is trying to control the message that the I-70 cap/lid is the right solution in spite of the fact that Secretary Foxx has been very vocal about these types of destructive projects."
Alternative transportation is definitely suggested if you plan to go to the United Way office at 711 Park Avenue West; fortunately, Denver's transportation options are growing.
In fact, Fanganello told the group gathered for State of Downtown that 60 percent of the 123,000 people who work downtown use alternative means of transportation, and 20 percent of the almost 20,000 downtown residents do not own a car. (See the full report at the Denver Partnership website.)
Although Foxx will not be stopping by Live.Ride.Share (he's in Austin this morning to hear that city's Smart City proposal), Mark Dowd, deputy assistant secretary for research and technology at the DOT, will be among the speakers at the Colorado Convention Center, presenting the latest developments in innovative transportation solutions, from new types of “smart” car pools to driverless vehicles. Other topics include transforming cities, cleaning the air and improving public health. The program runs through 5 p.m; find the full list of speakers and follow the livestream here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword, Denver’s News and Arts weekly, in 1977; she’s been the editor there ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly Colorado Public Television roundtable Colorado Inside Out, the former president of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies -- a post that got her an unexpected interview with former President Bill Clinton in front of a thousand people (while she was in flip-flops) -- and played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City.
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