In 2016, Mayor Hancock announced Denver's commitment to Vision Zero and the multi-departmental effort to develop an action plan. Through this process, five primary needs emerged:
Though Denver regularly coordinates on transportation projects and safety initiatives, existing processes do not adequately address the loss of life on our streets. We need an established Vision Zero program with targeted processes and the right tools to ensure that systematic street design and cultural changes happen seamlessly.
Half of Denver's traffic fatalities occur on just 5 percent of our streets. A safe system is one where different types of street users, each with different travel tendencies and speeds, are physically separated and protected such that if a crash does occur, it happens at a slow enough speed to avoid death or severe injury.
Higher speeds not only increase the risk of a crash, but also increase the risk of a serious injury of death. Speed management is critical to reaching zero fatalities and serious injuries, and the Denver approach is to focus on developing a speed management program, focusing on speed reduction in areas of the most need citywide, and pairing these with street design changes.
Safer streets and lower speeds will go a long way, but we all must contribute to making safer transportation decisions. Denver's crash data show a significant problem with speeding and aggressive driving, driving under the influence, distracted driving, and failure to use motorcycle helmets and seatbelts.
Improving data quality is essential to a greater understanding of the factors and circumstances that contribute to crashes and injuries. Data sharing across programs and stakeholders can shed light on crashes and injuries. For the most impact, findings need to be shared with and reported to the public on a regular basis.