Denver Earns “C“ on 2018 Progress Toward Safe Streets Goals

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Denver Falls Short on Sidewalk Construction, Traffic Calming & Street Lighting Goals

Denver Streets Partnership

A new progress report card released by safety advocates with the Denver Streets Partnership awarded Denver an overall “C“ grade for the City and County of Denver’s progress on the Vision Zero Action Plan designed to improve the safety of Denver’s streets. The progress report card looked at Denver’s 2018 infrastructure goals in eight categories and found that, while Denver met its goals for miles of bike lanes constructed and operational improvements at major intersections, it failed to meet its goals for sidewalks constructed, traffic calming work, and street lighting enhancements.

The Denver Streets Partnership acknowledged that Denver began 2018 short-staffed and expressed confidence that Denver could do much better in 2019 with a complete and dedicated team. 

“Last year, Denver had clear goals around building safer streets for everyone. The good news – they hit their goals for bike lanes built and improving safety through operational improvements at number of intersections across the city. The bad news – they failed to meet their goals around sidewalks, street lighting, redesigning streets for safe speeds, and focusing safety improvements in the parts of the city that need it most,” said Danny Katz, CoPIRG Director and member of the Denver Streets Partnership. “When you look at what they built, where they built it, and did they reach their 2018 goals, they earned a C. We look forward to what they will accomplish moving forward in 2019, especially since Denver has increased the number of people working to make our streets safe for everyone.”

“We have got to find a way to make pedestrians a priority in our streets. We need to use the streets!”  Pam Jiner, Montbello residents, and walk leader for Montbello Walks.

59 people died on Denver’s streets in 2018, the second highest number of fatalities since 2005, highlighting that Denver has a long way to go to meet its vision of zero deaths on its roadways. Denver Police reported 60 traffic deaths in 2016 and 51 deaths in 2017.

In 2017, the City and County of Denver became a leader in the Vision Zero movement with Mayor Hancock’s Action Plan that established the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries by the year 2030. 

The Denver Streets Partnership wholeheartedly supports the City’s commitment to safe, healthy mobility options for all Denver residents. We believe all five of the Vision Zero Action Plan’s themes are critical to success:

  1. Enhance City Processes and Collaboration
  2. Build Safe Streets for Everyone
  3. Create Safe Speeds
  4. Promote a Culture of Safety
  5. Improve Data and Be Transparent

This Progress Report Card focuses specifically on the second theme, “Build Safe Streets for Everyone,” and Denver’s progress on street safety improvements such as building sidewalks and bike lanes. Our current street system is dangerous by design, and the City will not achieve zero traffic fatalities or serious injuries without these fundamental improvements. 

At the release, safety advocates highlighted a success story at Albrook Drive in Montbello, where the City recently installed a protected pedestrian refuge island and pedestrian activated flashing signal. 

“It’s encouraging to see Denver off to fast start with some of the Vision Zero plan infrastructure goals, like the major new bike lane projects that help build Denver’s bike lane network. With a clear vision and excellent plan, we’re confident Denver can increase progress in the other infrastructure areas such as new sidewalks and corridor-level traffic calming projects.  Perhaps most importantly, Denver Public Works hired highly qualified staff this year to lead the effort. With the appropriate funding, the City can meet it’s vision zero infrastructure goals.” – Piep van Heuven, Bicycle Colorado Policy Director

Download the full Vision Zero Progress Report Card at


The Denver Streets Partnership (DSP) is a coalition of community organizations advocating for people-friendly streets in Denver. The DSP mission is to improve active transportation and transit infrastructure, accessibility and use to support healthy, inclusive, connected, and sustainable communities. The DSP coordinates advocacy and community engagement focused on transportation funding and policy; Vision Zero; and complete streets. 

The Steering Committee is comprised of seven non-profit policy advocacy organizations including All-In-Denver, American Heart Association, Bicycle Colorado, BikeDenver, CoPIRG, Colorado Cross Disability Coalition, and WalkDenver.