Mar 04, 2020
DENVER – In 2019, Denver ramped up efforts to make city streets safer with upgrades to pedestrian crossings, new bike lanes and stretches of sidewalk, operational improvements at dozens of intersections, speed limit reductions, and the conversion of more than 30,000 LED street lights citywide that make travel safer and people easier to see. The city is sharing a few of its recent safety success stories:
Case study 1: Improvements at 20th Street and I-25
Over a five-year period between 2013 and 2018, 40 crashes occurred at the intersection of 20th Street and Interstate 25 where vehicle drivers collided with a barrier. Two of the crashes were fatal and four involved serious bodily injuries. At least 14 of the crashes were related to DUI or DUID behaviors. When reviewing demographic data, police also learned that 78% of those involved in the crashes were not Denver residents and therefore less familiar with the area. In 2018, the city’s Vision Zero safety team addressed the location with engineering and enforcement measures, improving signage and pavement markings to clarify travel for drivers in all directions and making navigation as intuitive as possible for all users. DPD followed up with directed DUI enforcement during late night and early morning hours. In 2019, this intersection saw:
Case study 2: Pedestrian-focused enhancements on S. Federal Boulevard from Alameda to Evans
Trends in data show traffic safety improvements made on South Federal Boulevard are making a difference. In 2017, the city upgraded ten (10) intersections along Federal between Alameda and Evans Avenues, adding pedestrian countdown signals, leading pedestrian intervals that provide pedestrians a head start crossing the street to make them more visible to turning vehicles, and modifying late-night signal timing to stop vehicles at more regular intervals and slow speeds. Zero fatalities occurred on this stretch in 2018 and 2019, down from 8 in the 2016-2017 timeframe.
Case study 3: Photo Enforcement
According to data gathered by DPD, severe crashes have decreased at these locations where photo enforcement occurs. For example, at the high-use intersection of 6th and Lincoln:
More data trends and information about Denver’s safety program efforts can be found in its 2019 Annual Vision Zero Report.
The city recognizes that with 70 people killed on its streets in 2019, there is more work to be done. In 2020, Denver will continue to focus its efforts on the city’s High Injury Network where the highest number of fatal and serious injury crashes are occurring. Highlights of the city’s plans for 2020 include:
While the city will continue to make infrastructure improvements, it’s important to note that about half of fatal and serious injury crashes have significant behavioral causes, with the top three being:
Denver residents and visitors are urged to avoid these behaviors to improve safety on our streets.
More About Denver Vision Zero
Denver began laying the groundwork for its Vision Zero program in 2015, and in 2017, Mayor Michael B. Hancock presented his Vision Zero Action Plan with a goal to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and serious injuries on the city’s roadways by 2030.
For more information, please visit denvergov.org/visionzero.