Hancock Will Go Public With Vision Zero Plan Next Week, Denverites Cheer

DSC_0739
WalkDenver Executive Director Gosia Kung speaks to a crowd gathered to support ending traffic deaths and injuries. Photo: David Sachs

On Wednesday, Denver will join other cities in America and abroad that have committed to ending deaths and serious injuries on their streets. About 60 people gathered at the steps of City Hall on Friday to show some love to Mayor Michael Hancock, who will officially launch a Vision Zero plan next week.

The Vision Zero Coalition, a group of advocates who will watchdog the city’s efforts, called it a “love-in” — a sort of live valentine to Hancock. Friday’s event was light-hearted, but advocates know that the reason for the gathering is anything but.

“Fifty-nine people died on Denver’s roads last year,” said Joel Noble, co-chair of the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation’s transportation committee. “That’s 59 too many. Our residents know that no one should be risking our lives simply getting around the city by any mode of transportation.”

INC reps about 100 neighborhoods that united to demand Vision Zero last year. Noble joined leaders from the Transit Alliance, BikeDenver, and WalkDenver, who told the crowd why Vision Zero is a must.

“We’re demonstrating today that the value of our people, the value of life is clear, and Denver residents want streets that are safe for all,” said Transit Alliance Executive Director Kathleen Osher.

“We’re all pedestrians by design, but some of the most vulnerable pedestrians worth noting are children walking to school, seniors, people with disabilities, and people for whom walking is the only form of transportation that they can afford,” said WalkDenver Executive Director Gosia Kung.

Advocates spoke about Vision Zero being the start of a culture change, or as Denver resident David Rapp put it, a new “muscle memory” for everyone.

“I walk my son and other kids to school every day, and we encounter regularly deficiencies in the infrastructure as pedestrians walking to school,” Rapp said. “We have to push a button and we get to wait up to 100 seconds for that light to change and cross Colfax. When drivers drive there, the light is always green, so they’re gonna keep going through because it’s always green. It’s never red, and that’s how people get hurt.”

In its press release about next week’s announcement, Denver Public Works called Denver an “emerging leader” in Vision Zero, but it’s way too early to claim that status. Adopting the goal of zero deaths is just a first step. The real effort involves redesigning dangerous streets and reshaping policies to calm traffic and save lives. On Wednesday, when Hancock unveils the first bits of his Vision Zero plan, we’ll have a clearer idea of how he plans to act.

  • iBikeCommute

    Denver has a transit alliance? We could really use their advocacy on the colfax and broadway corridors.

  • neroden

    Hopefully Denver will do better on Vision Zero than New York.

    In New York City the DAs actively collude with the murderous drivers to make sure they can murder again.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Today’s Headlines

|
Traffic Deaths Fell Slightly Nationally, But Increased in Colorado (DenPo) New Blueprint for City Growth and Transportation Won’t Pretend Neighborhoods Are Static (DenPo) Density Near Transit Means More Places for People to Live and Work (ABC7) Trump’s Infrastructure Plan a “Trojan Horse” to Cripple Environmental Oversight (KGNU) Driver Kills Michael Miller in the Springs, Faces […]

Today’s Headlines

|
South Pearl Neighbors See Apartments as “Threat” to Parking; Zoning Could Require Ground-Floor Uses (Denverite) Planed Tower at 17th and California to Induce Traffic With 780 Parking Stalls (DenPo) Parking Lot Becomes 49 Homes for People Without Housing (Fox31) City Hiring Staff to Marshal Bond-Funded Projects (DenPo) Plan for A Line Delays Next Weekend as […]
From left, Denver Public Works Executive Director Eulois Cleckley, Metro Denver Chamber President Kelly Brough, Seattle City Traffic Engineer Donho Chang, and former Seattle DOT chief Scott Kubly. Photo: Jack Todd/Bicycle Colorado

Denver Can’t Count on Automated Vehicles to Fix Our Busted Transportation System

|
The auto industry probably loves Colorado’s enthusiastic embrace of automated vehicles. But if decision-makers bet on robo-cars as a transportation panacea, to the exclusion of proven urban transportation solutions, they risk repeating past mistakes that hollowed out urban centers and deepened our dependence on cars. We can make our city streets safer and more efficient today […]