Denver traffic safety advocates hold memorial for victims (Denverite)

Traffic Safety Pulse News

As she’s done many times before, Denver’s leading traffic safety advocate Jill Locantore stood in front of a crowd Sunday evening, passionately talking about the city’s dangerous streets and the many people who’ve died on them.

And per usual, Locantore, the executive director of the Denver Streets Partnership, kept her comments focused on what she sees as the root cause behind the hundreds of deaths and thousands of serious injuries that have happened since Denver’s 2016 pledge to eliminate them both by 2030.
“Simply admonishing each other to be safer is not how we’re actually going to get to zero traffic deaths,” she told a crowd of more than 50 public servants, policymakers, advocates, and passersby on downtown’s 16th Street Mall. “What we need is a fundamental transformation of our transportation system, a system that is dangerous by design.”

Adrienne Razavi with the Denver Streets Partnership reads names of traffic death victims projected onto the historic Daniels & Fisher tower in Denver on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023.

Locantore and Vision Zero advocates across the world say that to actually eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries, cities and other governments must take responsibility for the safety of their streets. Mistakes are inevitable, the Vision Zero theory states, so governments should redesign streets to force vehicles to drive slower so that the human errors that result in crashes aren’t fatal.

A recent city update to its Vision Zero plan embraces those themes and calls for changes staffers say will make streets less deadly, including things like adding more bicycle lanes, better pedestrian crossings, and lower speed limits citywide — even on busy and dangerous arterial streets that often double as state highways. Read the full event recap here.