Although it aired last July, it was only last week that I came across a short segment from an issue of a weekday evening news programme on 9News in Denver, Colorado. The programme is called ‘Next with Kyle Clark’ and, although I’d not heard of Kyle previously, I’ve seen him described as “a welcome breath of humility, honesty and directness”. This certainly seems to ring true from the segment in question, which I thought worth transcribing for the benefit of others.
You can also watch the segment, if you wish.
Since it almost literally speaks for itself, that’s quite enough from me.
“If we’re going to make Denver’s streets safer for everyone – whether you drive, bike or walk – we need to acknowledge something that is both obvious and uncomfortable.
You don’t own the street in front of your home.
We, the public, own the street in front of your home; and my home.
‘Our Streets’ is more than just a protest cry; that’s a factual statement. Our streets belong to everyone, so that everyone can get from here to there with as little fear of being killed as possible.
I get that people like living on pretty streets. Arguing for aesthetic appeal while bodies are being lifted off the pavement is a bad look. And it’s a worse argument.
I also love Denver’s history. But not more than your life, or mine. The people arguing that making our streets safer ruins our history need to be honest. They’re not really arguing for historical preservation. They’re asking for the preservation of the present.
Because this (see historic photo above) is the history of South Marion Street Parkway. A dirt street; a horse and a carriage; a drainage ditch down the centre. I don’t hear the people fighting the protected bike lanes there calling for cars to be banned, or calling for parking to be eliminated, all in the name of history.
No. They just don’t want any more accommodations for cyclists.
These preservationists of the present want the status quo, not history.
The status quo that makes it all too easy for drivers to kill our neighbours.”