Pedestrian safety improvements coming to Colfax

Problem Solvers
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LAKEWOOD, Colo. — The Lakewood Police Department is urging people not to jaywalk after nine pedestrians were killed in crashes last year. LPD says eight of the incidents were the pedestrian’s fault.

In neighboring Denver, major work started Thursday at dangerous pedestrian crossings along East Colfax Avenue.

According to the city of Denver, seven pedestrians were seriously injured on East Colfax last year.

Work crews began placing, among other things, plastic posts to make the crossing safer at Pearl Street and Colfax.

Altogether, 15 intersections will be worked on during the next couple of weeks.

Another intersection being worked on is at Valentia Street and East Colfax.

It’s where Shavon Johnson was hit by a car.

“It didn’t hit me head on but it spent me. So I flew across and it was a hit-and-run,” Johnson said.

She now walks with a limp.

Johnson admits she was not using a crosswalk because one does not exist there.

The Problem Solvers’ cameras caught about a dozen people jet out into fast moving traffic in just a few minutes.

Johnson says more crosswalks are needed.

Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure says the place Johnson uses the most is among the intersections that will be improved with safety devices.

“That is exactly what we need to start reversing the trend (of auto pedestrian accidents),” Walk Denver Executive Director Jill Locantore said, adding, “Part of the problem is safe pedestrian crossings are too far apart and really infrequent.”

People who live along streets that are not pedestrian friendly tell the Problem Solvers they feel their neighborhoods are neglected.

“And that’s dangerous because sometimes in this area, maybe your life is not as important as in a different area,” Johnson said.

She is now hoping the changes will help make her walk a little safer.

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