Chris Jones Doesn’t Like That Intersection

His "Unfortunate Intersections" video series went viral

Chris Jones's expressive face helps to highlight safety problems in this screen shot from one of his videos.
Chris Jones's expressive face helps to highlight safety problems in this screen shot from one of his videos.

Above: the first episode of Chris Jones’ “Unfortunate Intersections” video series.

Denver’s streets are mean. And Chris Jones is shoving right back.

“I take an intersection I don’t like and rip it a new butthole,” he says with deadpan humor when introducing the pilot episode of his new YouTube series.

The subject of unsafe intersections sounds dull. But in his first video, which covered a pedestrian crossing at the University of Colorado hospital campus in Aurora, you can’t take your eyes off Jones as he sprinkles a pinch of wit and a dash of sarcasm — the perfect amount of salt — on top of a few principles of good street design.

And that pushed the video into the realm of local internet virality. The ensuing tweet storm even attracted the attention of Channel7 (but their version of the story didn’t pack the same punch).

Sure Jones’ shows some sass, but he only does it because he loves you (and he wants to make Denver a better place to live). He says he will use feedback from viewers to inform future episodes. “Then we can work together to change our streets. So we’re not like, you know, dying in them all the time.”

He brings attention to street safety at a critical time. The number of people killed on Denver’s streets last year jumped to 58, an unfortunate statistic that has been trending upward over the previous five years. The city also will finalize its Denveright plans this year — and they could include street design guidelines with significantly stronger pedestrian and bike safety requirements.

After Jones’ first video became a sensation, he offered a hint about the possible origins of his humor when he shared his mother’s reaction: “Maybe the hospital is just trying to drum up business!”

Streetsblog will share new episodes of his “Unfortunate Intersections” series as they become available. Below is his second video, which looks at an intersection near his home at 25th and Emerson.