CDOT issues call to action for pedestrian safety across Denver and Aurora

News Release

September 26, 2023 - Statewide Safety News - Neon navigators placed at busy intersections to bring awareness ahead of Pedestrian Safety Month

Haga clic aquí para ver este comunicado de prensa CDOT emite un llamado a la acción para la seguridad de los peatones en Denver y Aurora en español.

Denver & Aurora — With 81 pedestrian deaths this year in Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation took a proactive step yesterday to raise awareness among pedestrians and drivers alike. Ahead of October’s Pedestrian Safety Month, CDOT placed neon pedestrian figures — or “neon navigators” — at busy intersections along critical corridors throughout the metro-Denver area, aiming to promote pedestrian safety in the state.

The neon navigators were strategically positioned at popular pedestrian intersections including Wynkoop Street & 18th Street near Union Station, Federal Boulevard & Howard Place, and Broadway and 6th Avenue in Denver. In Aurora, the installations were located at E. Montview Boulevard & Ursula Street and E. 16th Place & Victor Street.

These intersections were selected because they are among the highest-density corridors for serious-injury and fatal crashes, according to data collected and analyzed by the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) and the City and County of Denver. Denver and Aurora are amongst the highest in the state for pedestrian fatalities, with 19 deaths in Denver and 8 in Aurora so far this year.

“This increase in pedestrian fatalities is deeply concerning,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “Our neon navigators represent a call to action — urging all Coloradans to take responsibility for pedestrian safety by following speed limits, using crosswalks, staying off their phones and being alert behind the wheel.”

The bright neon figures were designed to capture the attention of pedestrians and drivers. They feature safety messaging emphasizing the importance of safe behaviors at crosswalks and intersections. To engage and educate pedestrians further, each neon navigator included a QR code directing viewers to CDOT’s pedestrian webpage which provides valuable safety tips and resources.

In 2022, there were a record-breaking 115 pedestrian deaths in Colorado, accounting for 15% of the state’s total traffic fatalities.

Next month is National Pedestrian Safety Month, and with 81 pedestrian deaths in Colorado this year, a 12.5% increase from this time last year, CDOT is emphasizing the need for responsible pedestrian and driver behavior.

The highest counties for pedestrian fatalities this year are:

  • Denver County (19)
  • Pueblo County (11) *up 175% from this time last year (4)
  • Adams County (9)
  • El Paso County (9) *up 125% from this time last year (4)
  • Aurora County (8)
  • Jefferson County (8) *up 166% from this time last year (3)

“While these neon navigators may be highly visible, not all pedestrians are,” said Annelies van Vonno, CDOT’s bicycle and pedestrian program coordinator. “Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility and takes a conscious effort on behalf of both pedestrians and drivers to reduce these types of preventable tragedies on our roads.”

Safety tips for pedestrians include:

  • Cross streets at designated crosswalks or intersections
  • Avoid phone use while crossing streets
  • Check for oncoming traffic from all directions
  • Abstain from alcohol and drugs while walking
  • Stay in well-lit areas at night
  • Remain vigilant for vehicles in driveways and parking lots

Safety tips for drivers include:

  • Exercise caution around pedestrians and bicyclists, especially in areas near schools, parks, shopping centers, and transit stops
  • Adhere to speed limits to reduce risks to pedestrians and other vulnerable roadway users
  • Never drive impaired
  • Avoid distractions, such as using a phone, while driving
  • Come to a complete stop before a crosswalk, ensuring it remains unobstructed
  • Reduce speed and be prepared to stop when turning or approaching crosswalks
  • At night, drive at a reduced speed with headlights on

About the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program

Walking and bicycling can be a fun and healthy way to enjoy our beautiful state, and CDOT encourages residents to make bicycling and walking a part of their regular routine. For more information on safety practices for pedestrians and drivers or how to get involved with programs like Safe Routes to School or Colorado’s annual Bike to Work Day, visit