(cross-posted from the Denver Vision Zero blog)
Representatives of the Denver Streets Partnership, City and County of Denver, and Denver City Council gathered with residents at a candlelight vigil on Sunday, November 17, in Civic Center Park to honor victims of traffic crashes in Denver. The vigil coincided with the United Nations World Day of Remembrance for victims of road traffic crashes and their families.
As of today, 236 people have been killed in traffic crashes since Denver announced its commitment to becoming a Vision Zero city in 2016. Each was honored with a candle at the vigil. In 2017, Denver adopted a Vision Zero Action Plan with the goal of eliminating fatal and serious injury crashes by 2030 and is accelerating implementation of the plan with actions that include:
Implementing safety treatments at intersections to calm traffic and shorten crossing distances for pedestrians.
Reducing speeds limits.
Enhancing street lighting to increase visibility.
Building an enhanced bicycle network, providing people with comfortable and dedicated spaces to ride.
Giving buses their own dedicated lanes to reduce conflicts with cars and make busy corridors better organized and travel more predictable.
Installation of high visibility crosswalks in the downtown business district.
The fundamental principles of Denver’s Vision Zero Action Plan require changes to Denver streets to prioritize safety for all. These principles include acknowledging that traffic deaths and severe injuries are preventable; that human error is inevitable and transportation systems should be forgiving; and recognizing speed as the fundamental factor in crash severity.
While Denver is working to make improvements that reinforce safe speeds and safer streets, it implores drivers and other travelers to contribute to the solution by supporting these safety projects and practicing and encouraging a culture of safety that slows down, eliminates distractions, drives sober, wears seatbelts, and follows the rules of the road.
A temporary memorial of ghost bikes and cutouts of human figures was installed to honor victims of traffic crashes and their families and will remain up for approximately one week.