Roadtrip - Denver, Colorado

Erica and I recently visited Denver, Colorado and I wanted to share a few things about the visit. I found a lot of similarities between our two cities, however Denver has really embraced some things we're still fighting for.

While not a huge system at the moment, Denver is in the process of building out it's light rail system. Currently it loops downtown and hits a few of the southern suburbs, however construction is underway on majro extensions and there are plans for it to reach all the way to nearby towns such as Boulder.

While the light rail was an exciting feature to find, I was most struck by how bicycle and pedestrian friendly the city felt. The sidewalks were much wider than ours, and they have diagonal cross-walks, which really speed up commuting by foot.

Denver still has a lot of roads and cars, however they aren't afraid to design for people too. Most of 16th Street in downtown Denver is a pedestrian mall. It's closed to cars and bicycles, and is full of restaurants, theaters, stores, trees and places to just hang out. I WISH Cincinnati had the vision to do something like this somewhere. I think OTR is prime for such an experiment.

It felt like their downtown was still trying to attract new residents, much as Cincinnati is, but it's these small details that really draw you in and we could learn a thing or two from them.

For visitors the city is easily navigated and they even have a bicycle rental system that is all over town so that you can take care of their killer network of bike and walking trails. These run all through downtown and for miles further into some of the farthest suburbs, meaning commuting by bike is a real option here, even if you're not an urban dweller.

more photos from our visit


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