A website called MapUrbane is making graphics that poke well-meaning fun of neighborhoods in Denver, and in other U.S. cities. Which is nifty, except that some folks thought their jokes were a) inaccurate and b) not very funny. But I think this map has problems for different reasons: it doesn’t acknowledge any of the cool things our city is doing to improve public transportation and cycling options.
Take a look:
Oof, let’s see, some of the things they forgot to mention:
- Denver has some pretty sweet bike paths running all over the place (like the Cherry Creek Trail and the South Platte River Trail). Stapleton, which MapUrbane calls “Almost Feels like Aurora,” hosts Sand Creek Regional Greenway and Bluff Lake Nature Observatory, where you can be in and of the city on your bike but feel like you’re way out in big sky country.
- Park Hill, home to one of our favorite community bike centers, City Park, and some pretty fantastic cupcakes, among other delights, is simply labeled “Schools and Churches” and “Just Plain Residential.” If only they knew!
- Poor old RTD can’t catch a break on this map, either. One neighborhood on here is actually labeled “Ugh, not another RTD commute. Wait, there’s public transportation in Denver?” For a system that recently opened a new light rail station that runs all the way to Golden and is working on a massive project to extend coverage to DIA, that stings.
- Globeville might smell like dog chow/rodeo (?) sometimes, but it’s also a fantastic place to ride around on a warm summer night.
- The area labeled “Generic people in Lakewood wearing North Face or Patagonia listening to Jack Johnson in their subarus while driving to a micro-craft beer bar” is not in actually in Lakewood. Lakewood is west of Sheridan Boulevard, which is west of Federal Boulevard. Also, Lakewood may be one of the only Western suburbs of Denver where people don’t really wear North Face or Patagonia and listen to Jack Johnson in their subarus.
- I’d like to re-label “Western affluent football suburbs that are on their way to boarding” with “Bike route to Golden, cool microbreweries, almost to Red Rocks, Morrison, and pretty fantastic mountain biking.”
The bottom line: If we don’t like their map of Denver, maybe we should make our own. Hey, maybe we will!