DENVER (KDVR) — Some members of Mayor Mike Johnston’s transition team on transportation are proposing the city ban all right turns on red within his first 100 days.
“It’s an easy policy change that can be done relatively quickly by the Mayor and city council,” said Molly McKinley with Denver Streets Partnership.
Right turns on red weren’t legalized until the 1970s, according to Denver Streets Partnership, as a way to save gas during the oil prices, but research shows it hasn’t made a huge impact. According to Denver Streets Partnership, allowing right turns on red increases pedestrian crashes by 60 percent and bike crashes by 100 percent.
“If you think about your experience as a driver if you’re at a stop light and you’re trying to make a right turn on red you’re usually looking left you’re looking for oncoming vehicle traffic, but drivers aren’t always looking both ways in those occasions,” McKinley said.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, or DOTI, calls for a similar ban in high risk areas as part of the Vision Zero Action Plan, but Denver Streets Partnerships suggests it be citywide to avoid confusion.
“If one person finds out about this policy change and it saves someones life because they’re not involved in a crash because the one person knew about this law then that’s a worth while policy for me,” McKinley said.
The mayor’s office said in a statement:
‘As with recommendations and suggestions in all the transition memos, this recommendation is one piece of feedback from the community. Mayor Johnston is evaluating these recommendations and taking them into consideration as he develops his policy priorities.”
The policy would follow a growing list a cities with similar bans, including San Francisco, D.C., Seattle and Indianapolis.