Three Questions with David Pulsipher

Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning Supervisor for the City of Denver.

Courtesy Denver Public Works

In 2017, Mayor Michael Hancock introduced a 12-year, $2 billion Mobility Action Plan to transform Denver into a more walkable, bike-able city. David Pulsipher is here to make sure it gets done.

What do you do?

I oversee all efforts related to bicycle and pedestrian planning in Denver. Essentially, I try to make the city a better place for walking and biking. That means sidewalks and crossings, bike facilities, bike lanes, neighborhood bikeways. We identify opportunities, assess their impact, and then other city departments design and build the infrastructure. With the mayor’s Mobility Action Plan, the big goal is to have zero traffic fatalities by 2030, and a reduction in single-occupancy-vehicle trips down to 50 percent. The mayor also committed us to building 125 miles of bikeways in five years. Denver is going to see a rapid increase in the amount of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

Are you out walking all the time?

Definitely. My staff and I are always out in the community. Many of us are bicycle commuters, take public transit, and walk. It’s part of our day. The job also involves a lot of meeting with people, hearing feedback, going out into the field. It’s a lot of problem solving, creative thinking, and dreaming.

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Any tips for transitioning into a daily bicycle commute?

A good place to start is your local bike shop, because they can give you recommendations on equipment. There are lots of different saddle bags—or panniers—everything from simple canvas bags to high-tech, waterproof options. My personal motto is: Don’t carry on your back what you can carry on your bike. Also, you don’t have to wear head-to-toe spandex to be a bike commuter; you can wear what’s comfortable. I recommend people do some basic research online. Or, if you want, talk to me. I love solving mobility questions.