Safer Intersections, Lower Speed Limits Coming to Morrison Rd, Brighton Blvd

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The intersection of Morrison Road, Alameda Avenue, and Knox Court will be overhauled next year. Image: Google Maps

Denver Public Works wants to decrease the posted speed limits and design safer pedestrian crossings on two dangerous streets: Brighton Boulevard in River North and Morrison Road in Westwood.

Drivers seriously injured five people walking and four people biking on Morrison Road between 2012 and 2015, according to city data. And this March, a truck driver struck and killed a bicyclist at 29th and Brighton.

Speed kills, and street designs that compel people to drive more carefully are more effective than changing the numbers on a sign. So in addition to lowering the speed limits on both streets from 35 mph to 30 mph, DPW will implement safer designs that calm traffic and prioritize walking and biking.

In 2017, five intersections on Morrison Road will get bulb-outs — corner sidewalk extensions that narrow the road for drivers and shorten crossings for pedestrians. Public Works will also rebuild the intersection of Morrison, Knox Court, and Alameda Avenue. And of course, Brighton Boulevard will get a complete makeover next year, with new crossings, sidewalks, raised bike lanes, and narrower vehicle lanes.

“It’s really important that when we reduce the speed limit we don’t just reduce the posted speed limit — just change out signs and expect people to change their behavior,” said Rachael Bronson, a bike-ped planner with Public Works, at a meeting of the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation’s transportation committee Thursday. “It’s critical to make those changes along with some infrastructure improvements.”

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