DENVER (KDVR) — Late Wednesday afternoon, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston met with a group of people to explain how the city will establish micro-communities for 1,000 homeless people by the end of the year.
The meeting took place in a packed brewing room at Ratio Beer Works in south Denver, not far from one of those proposed sites.
The meeting became contentious at times, with people shouting concerns both at Johnston, who hosted the meeting, and District 7 Council Member Flor Alvidrez.
People both in the area of the neighborhood on South Santa Fe Drive and others have a lot of questions about how the proposed micro-communities will impact their families.
This latest meeting to discuss micro-communities took place as another neighborhood not far away continued to raise concerns about the possible placement of tiny homes and pallet shelters at 5500 East Yale Avenue.
The people who live near the proposed site say they have concerns about existing dangerous traffic conditions growing even worse.
“I’m extremely concerned. There are multiple accidents, whether it’s at I-25 and Yale or at Holly and Yale as well. And you have the added concerns of pedestrians,” said neighbor John Hand, who also said the sidewalks are not compatible with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
DOTI study: ‘Safety issues’ for pedestrians, bikers
Residents say a study done by the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure proves establishing a micro-community for the homeless on this property would exacerbate the trouble.
“Bike accidents and pedestrian accidents were up 3 times at the intersection of where we live than in the average place around the city,” resident Alec Baker said.
The study by DOTI mentioned “safety issues” for pedestrians and bikers. The report also pointed to speeding as another concern and it said a “comprehensive planning effort was needed to improve the area.
The report also found that over the five-year period studied, 637 vehicle crashes occurred along the East Yale corridor.
“Overall, we are trying to present the case to the mayor and the community that this particular site has astronomically risk factors than many other potential sites you could pick in the neighborhood,” Baker said.
FOX31 contacted Johnston’s office about the neighborhood’s concerns.
“We are continuing to vet and evaluate potential sites throughout this process, including examining city planning considerations and other concerns brought up by neighbors,” spokesperson Jordan Fuja said.
Meanwhile, the people who live on East Yale say they will keep pushing for answers, concerned their neighborhood will experience even more problems with traffic and pedestrian accidents.