Athmar Park’s Active Living Coalition received a 2018 Metro Vision Award from the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG). The award was presented at DRCOG’s annual awards celebration on April 25.
Southwest Denver’s Athmar Park is a diverse and dynamic community, where residents were concerned with the neighborhood’s lack of active and healthy transportation options. The Athmar Park Neighborhood Association recognized the need for walking, biking, and wheelchair or stroller accessible-facilities. They also had a strong desire to encourage wider participation by neighborhood residents in community and transportation planning. To meet these needs, the neighborhood association formed an Active Living Coalition of community members and stakeholders.
The coalition engages residents in community planning aimed in part at improving active transportation options that encourage healthy mobility choices. To start, the coalition conducted more than 90 outreach events, with a focus on engaging Spanish speakers, to understand the perspectives of more than 1,500 residents and identify the area’s most pressing transportation priorities. The coalition also completed a built environment assessment, collecting more than 1,000 data points. Finally, it presented a range of recommendations including slowing traffic, improving the streetscape along major intersections, upgrading lighting and facilitating bicycle and pedestrian access to Athmar Park.
“Active transportation is healthier for residents and improves air quality. The Athmar Park Neighborhood Association has done a tremendous job encouraging and promoting active transportation as a part of daily living,” said Douglas Rex, executive director for DRCOG.
The Coalition is actively seeking funding to implement plan recommendations and is also continuing to engage community members through events such as bike maintenance workshops, bike to school days and birding walks – all designed to encourage healthy and active transportation as part of daily life in the community.
DRCOG’s Metro Vision Award program recognizes exemplary projects, plans and initiatives that significantly improve the quality of life in the Denver region and its communities. The regional council has been honoring outstanding achievements for more than 30 years.