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Denver implements ‘Vision Zero’ plan to decrease roadway fatalities

DENVER -- Roadway signs touting Vision Zero have gone up across Denver.

It’s the city's plan to reduce fatalities on roadways. The crash rate per population is much higher in Denver compared to similar cities.

Fifty percent of traffic fatalities in Denver occur on just 5 percent of the city’s roads on major arteries such as Colfax Avenue, Federal Boulevard and Speer Boulevard.

“We can look at things from a design and an engineering perspective if we can understand what’s happening in those crashes. Then we can start to address the design or from a behavior perspective or from an enforcement perspective,” said Crissy Fanganello, the city’s director of transportation and mobility.

In 2016, 61 people were killed in traffic crashes on Denver streets -- or one every six days.

The problem is not just on the drivers. Just 42 percent of fatalities happen in a vehicle, meaning the other 58 percent are pedestrians, bikers and motorcycles.

“None of us are expendable so Vision Zero is the right goal even though it’s a hard goal,” Fanganello said.

Denver has joined 20 other cities in adopting Vision Zero. The goal by 2030 is to have zero fatalities on Denver streets.

The city is also asking for public feedback on how to implement some of the plan.