What are the conditions in the built environment that make it difficult to access the South Platte River trail in Globeville and Valverde neighborhoods? This is the foundation question for our Key Connections initiative. Through this initiative, Groundwork Denver works directly with residents, businesses and the City of Denver Public Works Department to address barriers that prevent people from comfortably or safely accessing nearby recreational amenities. Barriers can include railroad tracks, busy intersections, industrial zones and brownfields. These barriers separate communities from the benefits of nearby recreational opportunities and make it challenging to be a pedestrian or bicyclist in the neighborhood.
More About Key Connections
Through the Key Connection initiative Groundwork Denver seeks to enhance the pedestrian and bicyclist experience in general. Specifically, this initiative works to enhance the visibility of and improve access to recreational amenities in Globeville and Valverde with an emphasis on the South Platte River walking and biking path. Enhancing visibility and improving access is accomplished by hosting neighborhood river events which introduce residents to the river and the walking/biking path and parks along the river. Our goal is to gather feedback from residents on what they would do to make it safer and easier to access the river and to be physically active in their neighborhoods. Based on this feedback we implement low-cost improvements that address safety when accessing these amenities and address the visibility of recreational opportunities. Such improvements include: cross walk stripes at major intersections, bicycle lanes, new bike route signage, street trees and safety fencing around playgrounds. Additional improvements include planting street trees which help create a more comfortable pedestrian environment.
Our Key Connections project led us to develop a guide for best practices when implementing low cost improvements to the built environment. That document can be found on our built environment page.
Key Connections Achievements since 2009
- Engaged over 200 Denver residents along the South Platte River trailHosted eight different river walk or bike ride events
- Implemented seven different low cost improvements
- Facilitated a weekly walking group led by residents of Globeville who walked from April to September through the neighborhood and down the South Platte trail
- Planted over 50 trees
- Engaged more than 80 individuals at their homes, on the phone or at community meetings in an effort to gain a better understanding of the kinds of improvements needed to create a better pedestrian and bicycling environment