This 2010 file photo shows a memorial to 27-year-old Laura Gorham, a pregnant woman who was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood. The city of Denver is working to eliminate traffic-related deaths in the city by 2030.
Denver unveiled preliminary plans Friday to eliminate traffic-related deaths in the city by 2030, an ambitious goal that includes addressing high-risk corridors through speed reductions, better lighting, median alterations and promoting a culture of safety.
A map of communities of concern included in Denver’s Vision Zero Action Plan.
“All of Denver deserves safe streets,” Mayor Michael Hancock said at a morning event downtown to promote the initiative called Vision Zero. “… Our community has stepped forward and has been very clear about the need to take action.”
Since January 2016, there have been more than 100 traffic-related deaths on Denver’s streets, and as part of an action plan officials have already identified areas of the city — like Federal Boulevard and Colfax Avenue — in the most dire need of fixes.
On Federal alone this year — which has a fatality rate 20 times higher than other Colorado urban roadways — 10 people have been killed, six of them pedestrians, according to Crissy Fanganello, Denver’s director of transportation and mobility.
Early Friday morning, officials noted, a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle and seriously hurt in a collision on South Federal Boulevard near West Arizona Avenue.
“This is simply unacceptable,” Fanganello said.
She said there is no silver bullet, but officials are confident they can reduce the traffic fatality rate in the city through several approaches that protect the most vulnerable users of the streets — pedestrians and bicyclists.
Vision Zero has been in the works for about two years and has included a host of stakeholders, including WalkDenver, BikeDenver, Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation and the Mayor’s pedestrian and bicycle advisory committees. The Colorado Department of Transportation and the family of Cole Sukle, a 14-year-old boy who was killed by a car while on a street in southwest Denver last year, were also involved.
The initiative lays out 70 specific actions — like improving data collection — to save lives and create safer streets over the next five years. Namely, Denver has committed to making the city as friendly to multimodal transportation as possible.
Some funding for the traffic upgrades and changes is slated to come from a bond package that’s going before voters in November.
“Today is a really exciting day for Denver,” Denver City Councilman Jolon Clark said.