Unusual approach could yield a new bike lane on Tejon Street in Athmar Park

Instead of giving the grant to a nonprofit, Kaiser Permanente is giving money directly to the Athmar Park Neighborhood Association.

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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A biker cruises westbound on 16th Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  bike; sixteenth street; 16th street; city park west; kevinjbeaty; colorado; denver; denverite;

A cyclist cruises on 16th Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A $75,000 grant could set some improvements in motion for cyclists and pedestrians in southwestern Denver.

The Athmar Park Neighborhood Association just got the money from Kaiser Permanente Colorado and plans to use the money to improve mobility along Tejon Street.

At the outset, the money will go toward assessing the current environment for people walking, biking and using wheelchairs in the area. That process will include meetings, surveys and more.

The real goal, though, is to get some concrete changes done, particularly on Tejon Street. While it’s far from official, an eventual goal is a bike lane or bike facilities along Tejon from Mississippi Avenue to Alameda Avenue, said Ian Harwick, president of the neighborhood group.

That’s about a mile-long stretch, and it’s one of the neighborhood’s busiest thoroughfares.

The neighborhood group would need city approval to actually change the street, but their hope is that they can put some prototype bike infrastructure on the street this fall. That might be a full bike lane, or it could be signage and other infrastructure.

“We’d be able to … test it before the kids went to school and after they went to school, and through their teachers find, ‘Did you feel safer, did your parents feel safer?'” Harwick said.

“If everything goes as planned, then we would be able to take our information from all of the coalition meetings, all of our surveys, all of the things we’re going to do over the next year, and we’ll be able to apply for a secondary grant from Kaiser.”

With that done, “we could look at doing permanent infrastructure changes to Tejon.”

We’ll be sure to keep you updated as that happens. Also worth noting: It’s fairly unusual for a neighborhood group to win this kind of money directly from a grant, according to Harwick.

“Typically, they give the money to nonprofits and then the nonprofits find their partners that they work with,” he said. “They turned this one on their head — they gave it to the neighborhoods or the smaller nonprofits and let them go pick their partners.”