DENVER (KDVR) — On Tuesday, a pedestrian was hit by a driver on Colfax Avenue at Columbine Street and was sent to the hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the car took off.
FOX31 has been looking into the numbers. They show Colfax is one of the most dangerous streets in Denver.
According to Denver’s Crash Data Dashboard, 25% of all deadly crashes in the City of Denver have been with pedestrians. Colfax was the street with the most deadly crashes in Denver so far this year, but those numbers don’t count recent crashes.
“It happens pretty much every day,” Terry Williams said. He was a witness to the crash on Columbine.
So far in July alone, Denver Police say there have been five people hit by cars just this month in the city, and three of those reports were on Colfax.
“He was trying to cross the street and got clipped by a car and the car kept going, and a result of that, he just kind of flipped and twisted around and hit his head on the concrete,” Williams said.
In Tuesday’s crash, the person was seriously hurt but is expected to survive.
Walkers along Colfax Avenue say they don’t feel safe
However, the story ends differently in dozens of other crashes with pedestrians so far this year.
“There’s so much going on in the streets that you have to be careful. I think Colfax here is one of the worst intersections up and down. Colfax is one of the worst, I think to even cross the street. I don’t feel safe unless I’m looking the driver in the eye,” Deborah Velazquez said.
Velazquez walks everywhere, and so does Nolan Flowers. They said they’re extra vigilant.
“Every day? About 5 miles, maybe 6 miles,” Flowers said. “Oh no, I wouldn’t say I would feel safe and stuff. I just probably try to get to where I’m going kind of the quickest way I guess.”
“There’s time to text when you get to where you’re going,” said Justin, who rides his bike around but stays off busy streets.
“There’s blame to go all around. People walking around trying to cross the street with their cell phones out. People driving trying to get directions looking at their cell phone,” Velazquez said.
Could the East Colfax BRT project help?
Businesses along Colfax said they have seen people get hit by cars frequently. Mark Whistler hopes Denver’s plan for the East Colfax Corridor Bus Rapid Transit project will help.
The BRT would be a center-running bus along Colfax, meaning there would just be one lane of cars in each direction and single-direction station platforms to board the buses in the center of the road.
“Over the past seven years, we have definitely seen quite a few pedestrian-car crashes,” Whistler said. “Especially with the high school right across the street. That’s the hugest, heaviest traffic flow of any part in a five-block radius of Colfax here, for sure. We have hundreds of students that cross the street, and a lot of them use Colfax and it is dangerous.”
There was community feedback taken on the project in 2021, but right now, it’s in the engineering and design phase.
“I think that the BRT is a great solution. It will help control the flow of pedestrians and also traffic and make it a lot safer for everybody,” Whistler said.