The Bike Streets Project is on a mission to build a community of 100,000 people of all ages and backgrounds riding bikes in metro Denver each month. Let's make Denver the most bike-friendly city in America. Not in 2030. Now.
To make it happen, we designed and launched a low-stress Denver bike map that uses low-traffic, low-speed neighborhood streets. Bike Streets, as we call them, are the kinds of places that people of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of biking ability love to ride. A ride on Bike Streets is a stark contrast to a ride on the conventional map and bike lanes on big, scary streets like MLK, 11th, Logan, and Monaco.
This Kickstarter will enable us to print and give away tens of thousands of copies of a physical version of the Bike Streets Map. Folks will be able to pick up a free copy of the map at schools, libraries, rec centers, coffee shops, churches, and breweries throughout metro Denver.
With your help, we want to get the Bike Streets Map into the hands of thousands of folks from all walks of life across Denver.
How It Started
It all started in 2012. I (Avi, founder of the project) was biking from Wash Park to my new office in the Santa Fe Arts District. After nearly getting squished by yet another car going 35 MPH in the bike lane on Emerson, I decided to ride one street over on Ogden, a quiet, neighborhood street. I've never ridden on Emerson since then.
Over the years, as I wanted to bike places in Denver, I would find routes with similar characteristics -- low-traffic, low-speed side streets. I even started riding on these streets with my young children, something I'd never do on a street like Emerson.
As I started to design a comprehensive "low-stress" bike map of Denver, I would see all sorts of delightful, humanizing sights on these streets: people riding with tiny children on 12" bikes, older folks riding, grizzled urban biking veterans, people of different ethnicities riding bikes, people riding side-by-side with friends, people riding with their dogs.
It became abundantly clear: this is where people want to ride bikes.
In June, 2018, we launched the first version of the Bike Streets Map -- a comprehensive bike network of low-stress, neighborhood streets that can get you pretty much anywhere in Denver, whether you're 8, 80, or somewhere in between. Since then, the Bike Streets Map has been used more than 50,000 times. Our online club (where some people track their rides) has racked up more than 45,000 miles. And we've been featured in the Denver Post, Colorado Public Radio, Colorado Matters on CPR, and 9News.
Our goal is to get 100,000 people from all walks of life riding bikes each month in Denver, which means that the Bike Streets Project is really about community, not just a map. The more people that ride on Bike Streets, the more those streets will become bike-friendly, making it possible for even more to ride -- a virtuous circle.
This Kickstarter is about building a community around the Bike Streets Map. With your backing, we're going to design a stylish, user-friendly, print version of the map, print tens of thousands of copies, and give them away for free at dozens of community gathering places around Denver.
Why a printed map?
Why a printed map in our digital age? We think that something tactile -- a physical, printed map -- will make it easier for people to understand what the Bike Streets Project is all about, understand how the routes work, and get out on their bikes and give it a try.
Why Bike Streets?
A gazillion studies have shown that the number one reason more people don’t ride bikes is that they’re scared of riding in traffic. But there’s more to it than just getting more people on bikes. What this project is really about is health: healthy people, a healthy community, and a healthy planet. The bicycle is a simple, inexpensive machine — just compare it to your car or the device on which you’re reading this — that can have a disproportionately large impact on individual lives, our community, and the planet.
Not from Denver? Here's Why We'd Still Love Your Support
Bike Streets is a model that can work in other cities. So even if you don't live in Denver, we invite you to back our Kickstarter so we can prove this out in Denver and then bring it to your city. If you plan to visit Denver anytime soon, hit us up and we'll go for a ride: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Risks and challenges
Will a printed Bike Streets Map get lots of people out on their bikes? That is the question. Our hypothesis is that it will because having a copy of the map will (1) let people across Denver know that Bike Streets routes exist in the first place, and (2) give them an easy way to see how they can use the routes to get where they need to go. But then again, it's a hypothesis. Your backing will help us see if we're right.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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