Making the Transportation Connection – Gates Family Foundation

April 11, 2016

The Gates Family Foundation (GFF) has been a supporter and steering committee member of Mile High Connects since 2011 through the Foundation’s Smarter, Greener, Healthier Urbanism program. GFF has also supported parallel efforts to address transportation access issues in the metro Denver area and across Colorado, with a particular focus on bike and pedestrian improvements.

In Denver, GFF supported the initial start-up of the B-Cycle bike share program in 2010, and has supported the Downtown Denver Partnership’s initiative to expand bike lane infrastructure in the downtown area. GFF also recently supported PlaceMatters, WalkDenver and partner organizations to engage residents in identifying barriers and imagining solutions to create a more pedestrian and bike friendly street environment on West Colfax, including improving connections to the West Line located just blocks away. The effort culminated in a highly-attended Reimagine Colfax Celebration in the summer of 2015, which featured pop-up street improvements like widened sidewalks, bike lanes, planters, public art, benches, and parklets (see a video of event highlights). Community input gathered during the process is being used to advocate for on-going improvements to the area. GFF is also a part of the West Denver Renaissance Collaborative, a partnership between the Denver Housing Authority (DHA), Enterprise Community Partners, MHC, the City, and the CityCraft Foundation to advance affordable housing, economic development, transit access, and green infrastructure in nine neighborhoods on Denver’s west side.

At a statewide level, GFF has recently supported Bicycle Colorado and the Colorado Pedals Project, a major three-year effort to improve bike infrastructure and engagement across Colorado, including enhancements to the Safe Routes to Schools program. GFF has also supported transportation efforts in other Colorado communities, including a Bike Co-op in Fort Collins and New Mobility West, a community assistance program run by the Glenwood Springs-based nonprofit Community Builders, to enhance multi-modal options in small and mid-sized towns on the west slope of Colorado and around the Rocky Mountain West.