DENVER STREETS FOR PEOPLE SUMMIT
THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2022
Never before has it been more important that Denver provide welcoming, safe, and accessible spaces for all to be physically active and well-connected with community.
The Denver Streets for People Summit, brought to you by the Denver Community Active Living Coalition (CALC), a program of Denver Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI), in collaboration with the Denver Streets Partnership (DSP), is a conference to engage Denverites in a dialogue about how to make our streets safer and more fun for people walking, biking, rolling, or taking transit.
Our goal is to learn from one another, connect community leaders and residents, and inspire us all to take action to achieve healthy, active, and equitable neighborhoods in Denver. We hope that this summit will drive us toward our vision where everyone in Denver has access to safe, vibrant places to walk, bike, roll, ride transit, and play.
Learning Objectives for the Denver Streets for People Summit:
Share local success stories, resources, and opportunities.
Explore best practices and ideas from around the world.
Network and collaborate with decision-makers, implementers, and like-minded community members.
Denver CALC values and proactively engages people of diverse experiences and perspectives, and we treat all people, regardless of age, ability, or background, with kindness and respect. When you register for a CALC event, you are joining our community in embracing this value. Thank you for making Denver Streets for People Summit a welcoming, safe, and positive environment for all.
2022 Streets for People Summit Summary
Creating Safe and Equitable Public Space
This year the Denver Streets for People Summit will be a FREE and locally hosted one-day conference centered on creating safer and more inviting streets and public spaces while reducing car dependency and fighting climate change.
To get conversations started on Thursday, June 9th, we will host 3 Mobile Tours across Denver, followed by an evening buffet dinner with Summit speakers and panelists at History Colorado Center.
2:00 - 4:00 PM MOBILE TOURS
Montbello Transit Tour featuring the Montbello Connector hosted by Denver CALC
Sun Valley Biking & Rolling Tour featuring the 13th Ave protected bike lane hosted by Denver Streets Partnership
Downtown Denver Walking & Rolling Tour hosted by Pedestrian Dignity
4:00-5:00 PM – Transition to History Colorado Center (1200 N Broadway Denver, CO 80203)
5:00 - 9:00 PM SUMMIT @ HISTORY COLORADO CENTER
5:00 PM – Arrival & on-site registration begins
5:30 PM – Buffet dinner opens
6:00-7:30 PM – Summit speaker session including Keynote, Panel, Q&A
7:30-8:00 PM – Reimagined Roundtable networking opportunity
8:00-9:00 PM – Conversations continue and museum exhibits open for one hour
2022 Detailed Program and Featured Speakers
Mobile Tour Option 1: Montbello Transit Tour
Denver DOTI operates the Montbello Connector, the city’s first public microtransit pilot, in the Montbello and Gateway communities of Northeast Denver. The Connector is an on-demand microtransit service which residents can request via an app or dedicated call-line and allows residents to get directly from point A to B without stops. Microtransit, unlike traditional transit service like RTD, is meant to operate at the neighborhood level and supplement existing transit service. As such, the Connector service also connects to the RTD Peoria station just across Denver’s municipal boundary in Aurora.
Ride with us to check out the Connector and the Montbello neighborhood! We will be meeting at Union Station at 1:30pm to ride the A Line to the Peoria Station. At the Peoria Station, we will then ride the Connector around the Montbello neighborhood, exploring many of the neighborhood’s local businesses and attractions and their importance to residents. Christian Steward, DOTI’s community connector for Northeast Denver, and Stephen Rijo, Senior City Planner and the main project leader for the microtransit pilot, will be co-leading the tour and be available to answer any questions.
Day of Schedule:
1:30PM Meet at Denver Union Station to board the A Line to Peoria Station
2:15PM Arrive at Peoria Station to board the Connector
3:15PM Depart from Montbello back to the Peoria Station
4:00PM Board A Line back to Denver Union Station, then board RTD 0 bus to History Colorado Center
5:00PM Arrive at History Colorado Center
Mobile Tour Option 2: Sun Valley Biking & Rolling Tour
Located just west of downtown and south of the Broncos Stadium, yet isolated by highway-style infrastructure, the Sun Valley neighborhood is Denver’s hidden gem. It is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Denver, with over 30 languages spoken from five different continents. It is home to local chefs and entrepreneurs from around the world, and most recently it has become home to Denver’s Meow Wolf, Raices brewery, and Denver’s Latino Cultural Arts Center. Sun Valley is also one of Denver’s lowest income neighborhoods, with 99.5% of residents earning below the area median income. As the area experiences rapid change, residents are faced with a rising cost of living, while locally owned businesses struggle with increased rent costs and the need to diversify their businesses to attract new customers from the evolving community. Join the Sun Valley Biking & Rolling Tour to learn how residents, businesses, and community-based organizations are taking an active role in the transformation of their community, advocating for inclusive development, and creating mechanisms for long-term accountability to avoid displacement.
The tour will feature representatives from the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Latino Cultural Arts Center, the Sun Valley Kitchen, the West Colfax Business Improvement District, and the Westside Stadium Community Coalition, who will share information about:
The new 13th Ave protected bike lane, which provides much-needed connectivity between Sun Valley and downtown, and connects into Denver’s growing network of bikeways that are comfortable for people of all ages and abilities
How the community is using art and activation to reclaim underutilized space underneath the Colfax viaduct
The community’s vision for redesigning the Colfax viaduct and the Colfax/Federal cloverleaf interchange to improve multimodal connectivity and create more human-scaled spaces that better serve the community’s needs
The development of a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with the master developer of the Stadium District redevelopment
Google Map of route:
Mobile Tour Option 3: Downtown Denver Walking & Rolling Tour
Walk & Roll Tour led by Pedestrian Dignity and Human Centric Design
Meet at Colfax at Auraria Station at 2:00 pm. This is the first historical site, representing Auraria, Denver's oldest neighborhood, also known as Westside. "Bordered by Colfax Avenue, Speer Boulevard and the South Platte River, Auraria — derived from the Latin word for “gold” — was established in the 1850s by a group of miners. The area is the oldest Denver neighborhood, predating the city’s establishment," ---Annie Levinsky, executive director of Historic Denver.
Ride the RTD lightrail to the 16th & California Station. Located in the heart of Denver in the Central Business District. "As the spine of downtown the 16th Street Mall was a bold and visionary move by Denver’s leaders struggling to revive a declining downtown in the 1970s, when suburban development drew offices and retail away from the center city. The decision to invest in the highest caliber design was intentional- it would showcase downtown as a modern civic space, provide respite and gathering spaces, and prioritize the pedestrian in an era that cars dominated." ---Historic Denver
Walk/roll to Civic Center Station. "As inspired by the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition and 1900 Macmillan Plan for Washington, D.C., Denver Civic Center evolved between 1890, with the beginning of construction of the Colorado State Capitol, and 1935, with the completion of the Denver City and County Building." ---History Colorado
Walk/roll to Colfax & Broadway. "Some of the foundational protests that ignited the disability rights movement took place on July 5-6, 1978, just around the corner from the Denver Public Library at Colfax and Broadway. Men and women of the Atlantis community, known as “The Gang of 19,” threw themselves in front of buses in an attempt to convey their disenfranchisement." ---ADAPT
Walk/roll to the Molly Brown House Museum. "The Molly Brown House stands as an enduring symbol of Denver's Titanic heroine, Margaret “Molly” Brown, who influenced major change on both local and national levels during and after her lifetime." ---History Colorado
Walk/roll to the History Colorado Center, our final historical site and ending point. "Artifacts, stories, and art intermingle to tell the tale of Colorado and the American West. The museum is designed for multi-generational audiences and consists of over fifteen exhibits spanning four floors, capturing the spirit of Colorado." ---History Colorado
Google Map of route:
Keynote & Panel Conversations
Transit stops and stations, similar to libraries, provide one of the few truly public spaces in our communities, where everyone is welcome without exchange of money necessarily expected. With this characteristic can come issues related to homelessness, mental health, and drug addiction found within these spaces. This experience is not unique to Denver, so where can we turn for innovative ideas on how to make transit facilities safe and comfortable for all in a way that treats everyone with compassion and dignity?
Hear from national leaders on strategies for creating public spaces and programs that are safe and welcoming for all, followed by a panel discussion with local leaders on how we can apply these lessons locally to places like Denver's Union Station.
Keynote: Elena Madison and Nancy Young
Creating safe, welcoming public space
Director of Projects, Project for Public Spaces
Elena is an urban planner with rich experience in the planning and design of parks, plazas, campuses, and the outdoor spaces of civic and cultural institutions. A veteran of Placemaking, Elena is passionate about working with people in communities to create the public spaces they love. She is a dedicated practitioner of place-based co-creation in all aspects of making a place, from visioning and concept development to programming, implementation, management, and governance. Her recent work has also focused on social inclusion and the careful building of social environments in the public realm. Elena is working on issues of mental health and the experience of homelessness in public space, partnering with social service practitioners, advocates, and researchers in the field. She is the co-author of a chapter on the topic for an edited volume on place governance, to be published by the Brookings Institution Press in July 2022.
Elena leads Project for Public Spaces’ placemaking project work encompassing visioning, concept and partnership building, and implementation. She is directing Corporate Social Responsibility placemaking programs including Claritin’s Clarity Parks, GAF’s Community Matters, and MassMutual’s Live Mutual initiative, as well as Project for Public Spaces’ own Community Placemaking Grants.
Director, OnRamps Program, Fountain House
After working as a Program Director at Fountain House for 12 years, Nancy Young became the Director of a new initiative called the OnRamps program. The goal of the program is to empower and support Fountain House members and Peer Advocates to use their own experience and knowledge to build trusting relationships and connect people to resources. Nancy previously worked for Breaking Ground as a Social Enterprise Director and for Housing Works, managing their Used Book Cafe in Soho. She has a Master's in Organizational Change Management from the Milano School of Policy, Management and Environment.
Creating safe, welcoming public space at transit stops and stations
Panel Moderator: Molly McKinley
Policy Director, Denver Streets Partnership
Molly comes to Colorado by way of North Carolina and is experienced in environmental policy and grassroots organizing. She joins DSP after working with Bicycle Colorado, the North Carolina Conservation Network, and the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation. She believes that shifting the priorities of our transportation system is a means towards environmental justice and a critical part of reducing our impact on climate change. Molly currently serves on the Sustainable Transportation Committee of Denver’s Sustainability Advisory Council and served on Denver's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for three years. She loves riding the bus, biking Denver’s urban trails, and aimlessly running laps around Cheesman Park.
Panelist: Carleigh M. Sailon
Carleigh Sailon is a licensed clinical social worker and licensed addiction counselor with over 7 years of experience in community mental health and program development. Carleigh has held several different positions throughout her career working as a case manager, behavioral health navigator in the Denver Downtown Detention Center and Program Manager of Criminal Justice Services. Carleigh spent several years creating and managing alternative response models and programs throughout the criminal justice system. Carleigh developed and staffed the STAR van during its initial pilot year and recently transitioned to a position with Denver 9-1-1 as the STAR Operations Manager to oversee the expansion. Carleigh also teaches as an adjunct professor for the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work. She is originally from Long Island, New York and received her MSW from Stony Brook University.
Panelist: Debra Johnson
General Manager and CEO, Regional Transportation District (RTD)
Debra A. Johnson is a person in the people business. Johnson was selected as General Manager and CEO of Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) by the agency’s Board of Directors on Aug. 25, 2020 and is the first woman to lead the agency in its 53-year history. She joined RTD from Long Beach Transit, where she served as Deputy CEO of the Southern California agency from May 2014 to October 2020. Prior to that, Johnson held executive positions at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
Johnson holds a master of arts degree in public administration from California State University, Hayward (now CSU East Bay) and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations from the University of California, Davis. She serves in leadership roles in several transit-related organizations, including the American Public Transportation Association, the American Public Transportation Foundation, and the WTS International Board of Directors, and is a member of the Visit Denver Community Board and the Metropolitan State University of Denver Community Cabinet. She has received numerous awards and accolades, including being named in 2019 by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials as one of 10 “Women Who Move the Nation.”
Panelist: Kayleigh Gates
Community Resource Outreach Administrator, Denver Public Library
Kayleigh Gates is a social worker, advocate, and an expert at asking uncomfortable questions. Currently the Community Resource Outreach Administrator with Denver Public Library, her work focuses on addressing mental health and substance misuse through connection to community.
Panelist: Lisa Raville
Executive Director, Harm Reduction Action Center
Lisa Raville grew up outside of Chicago, IL and graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Communications and a minor in Women’s Studies. Lisa is the Executive Director of the Harm Reduction Action Center, a public health agency that works with people who inject drugs. Lisa has been with HRAC since 2009. Lisa’s activist voice was cultivated with her experiences as an overnight homeless shelter coordinator, development work at a domestic violence agency, a former campaign manager for a CA County Supervisor, and an AmeriCorps VISTA at an AIDS agency.
Lisa is the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition. In 2014, Lisa won the Colorado Public Health Association Award for Excellence in Policy and in 2018 won the Recovery Ally of the Year award from Advocates for Recovery Colorado.
SUMMIT BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
The Denver Community Active Living Coalition (CALC) is a grant-funded program from the Denver Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI). DOTI is a modern agency focused on increasing mobility and safety while reducing congestion and fighting climate change. CALC is a diverse group of community members who care about health and safety through physical activity. We believe that all Denver residents, regardless of age or ability, should have equitable access to safe and vibrant places to walk, bike, roll, ride transit, and play.
The grant program is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) through the Cancer, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease (CCPD) Grants Program.
The Denver Streets Partnership is a coalition of community organizations advocating for people-friendly streets in Denver. Our mission is to reclaim Denver’s streets for people walking, rolling, biking, and using transit, and to build safe, healthy, and equitable communities. On people-friendly streets, walking, rolling, biking, and transit are the first choices of transportation for all people. Streets for people are living, public spaces that connect us to jobs, schools, services and each other, and are designed to foster health, happiness, and opportunity for all.
Learn more at denverstreetspartnership.org