Denver Road Fatalities at Record High in 2023

The city says it is accelerating its Vision Zero initiative to improve road safety for pedestrians and vulnerable road users.

2 minute read

January 18, 2024, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial view of Denver, Colorado skyline at golden hour.

Denver, Colorado. | nick / Adobe Stock

Five years after the city officially joined the Vision Zero movement, Denver saw the highest number of pedestrian deaths ever in 2023, reports Sage Kelley in the Denver Gazette.

“What's been maiming and killing pedestrians in Denver is a mix of poorly designed road infrastructure, bigger vehicles, and the lack of care by drivers, officials and advocates insisted, saying it's that combination that makes the streets so dangerous for those walking them.” Records show that 83 percent of traffic-related deaths involved vehicles traveling at speeds of over 30 miles per hour.

There were 28 reported crash deaths in 2023, compared to 21 in 2022. “Colorado numbers have also hit a record-breaking high, leveling above the significant increase that occurred post-pandemic. Preliminary numbers show 128 pedestrian crash deaths reported in 2023, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation's data dashboard.” In 2023, a study found Colorado to be the state with the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians.

In Denver, city officials want to reduce speed limits to 25 miles per hour on major streets as it focuses on its “high injury network,” the 5 percent of streets where 50 percent of fatalities happen. “Other strategies include creating bulbs on corners to lower pedestrian distance to cross roads and slow turning car speeds, medians in the middle of roads for ‘pedestrian refuge’ and pulling back parking on corners to increase visibility.”

Sunday, January 14, 2024 in The Denver Gazette

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