DENVER (KDVR) — Federal Boulevard reopened Monday following a Sunday closure in both directions from 6th Avenue to Evans Avenue in an attempt to curb violence along the popular corridor.
Denver police shut down the middle and left lanes of Federal Boulevard Sunday afternoon before the influx of cruisers typically descends on the area Sunday night. According to DPD, the temporary closures aim to help prevent large groups from congregating in parking lots and on side streets.
The move comes after a string of gun violence along the boulevard in recent weeks. One week ago, three young people were killed and eight others injured in the area.
“Heck, when I was a kid we’d come out here sometimes and hang out,” Albert Lucero told FOX31.
Now, he says, “I was a little nervous being out here right now to be honest with you.”
Lucero led a group of marchers up and down Federal Sunday afternoon. They all dressed in white t-shirts as a symbol of surrender and peace.
“We’re not here trying to be aggressors. We’re not trying to stop traffic. We’re not protesting anything. We’re really just here for peace,” he said.
He hopes their message meets the younger generation involved in the recent gun violence.
“There’s no reason that young people should be dying on the streets or getting gunned down in these streets but especially young people full of hope and promise,” Lucero said.
While he says he is hopeful that the physical changes along Federal Boulevard will help, he believes it will take real change in the way adults support children to save lives.
“This is just one step of many. We don’t march today and it’s over tomorrow. We’ve gotta go back to our communities and put in the same work that we’re doing out here. Put out the same message that we’re putting out here,” he said.
Lucero is a high school football coach and father of two teenage boys. He says while he has not been directly impacted by the recent gun violence, it affects the whole community.
“This is my community. This is my city. And it matters to me that these kids understand that there’s a better outlet than violence for any of the frustrations that they’re going through right now,” he said.
In the meantime, Denver police have stepped up patrols along the area to help increase safety. The temporary lane closures may remain in place on weekends through the end of September. DPD says the cones and blockades will be removed before the Monday morning commute.
“We gotta know it’s safe to go from point a to point b and get home. Everyone wants to get home,” Lucero said.