Hancock addresses transportation, gentrification, affordable housing in State of the City

DENVER -- It is the biggest speech the mayor of Denver gives each year -- the State of the City.

This year’s speech by Mayor Michael took place at the Carla Madison Recreation Center off Colfax. Hundreds were in attendance, including Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Cherry Creek - Downtown Shuttle Bus

During the mayor's address, Hancock revealed plans for a new shuttle on the 16th Street Mall, connecting downtown Denver with Cherry Creek.

Hancock said plans were still in the early stages and that “everything is on the table” including the possibility the shuttle might be free -- like the one on the 16th Street Mall.

Bike Lanes

Hancock announced plans for a five year plan to add 125 miles worth of bike lanes to the city.

“We’re going to be filling more of our sidewalk gaps and making sure repairs get made," Hancock said. "Today, I am excited to announce that we will be accelerating the buildout of our bike network -- adding 125 more miles of bike lanes over the next five years.

"That’s right -- 125 more miles! It’s also time for the next phase of shared mobility. This includes dockless bikes and electric scooters, and equitably expanding service into disconnected, lower-income neighborhoods”

Gentrification assistance

Hancock brought up the controversial advertising campaign of Ink Coffee during his speech to highlight the cities struggle with gentrification.

In November, Ink’s Larimer Street location appeared to brag about gentrifying the neighborhood.

Hancock called it one of the most “disappointing” things he has ever heard during his speech -- alluding to the fact many longtime residents in places such as Curtis Park and Five Points feel like they are being priced out.

Hancock launched the NEST Program, which will provide the city with advise on dealing with the harmful impacts of gentrification.

NEST would strive to help those individuals and businesses struggling in neighborhoods as well. Applications to be a part of NEST are already online.

Tay Anderson, a community activist, fears it's too late.

“I think it’s a little too late to talk about this issue now,” Anderson said.

“It’s never too late to get involved to try and Serve as a safety net for those who want to stay in their homes,” Hancock said.

Affordable Housing

Hancock announced a plan to double the affordable housing fund in the coming months by utilizing marijuana tax revenues.

“Our clarion call is to seize the moment and set Denver’s people and neighborhoods on an equitable path of prosperity for the next 100 years,” Hancock said.

Trump bashing

Hancock took time to say “if anyone running for office this November thinks we should be following the White House’ example here in Colorado quite frankly they don’t deserve to lead our great state.”

Hancock was asked if he was taking a swipe at Walker Stapleton, the GOP nominee for governor.

Hancock said he was not specifically talking about Stapleton, calling him “his friend.”

The Stapleton campaign didn’t seem too bothered by the remark.

“From construction defects legislation to providing quality education for our kids, Walker looks forward to finding common ground with Mayor Hancock and anyone else who wants to make Colorado a better place," the campaign said in a statement.

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