NewsLocal News


Push to ban all right turns on red across Denver after deadly year for pedestrians and cyclists

Denver Streets Partnership calls it a quick and inexpensive fix toward safer streets.
no turn on red.png
Posted at 9:34 AM, Feb 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-18 11:34:32-05

DENVER — There's a push to ban all right turns on red across the city of Denver after the state came off its deadliest year on the road for pedestrians and cyclists.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, 133 pedestrians and 20 cyclists died in 2023 on the state’s roadways.

June Churchill has been car-free for six years.

“I looked around at the city and I was like, ‘Wow, it's really dangerous to bike here,'” said Churchill.

Finding a safe space to ride on Denver city streets has been a daily battle for Churchill.

“There have been so many times when I’ve been cut off by car, or almost gotten T-boned,” said Churchill.

Churchill said a lot of the trouble stems from drivers turning right on red, blocking crosswalks and not paying attention to pedestrians.

“Cars don't care they will take that right turn until everyone is done,” said Churchill.

Now, there's a renewed push to ban all right turns on red across Denver.

It’s something the group, Denver Streets Partnership, has been lobbying for for half a decade.

“Ultimately, we need to redesign our streets to provide more space for people walking and biking and to reinforce slower, safer speeds. But we know that's going to take a lot of time and money,” said Jill Locantore, executive director of Denver Streets Partnership.

Locantore said policies that prioritize pedestrian safety are a cheaper route.

Push to ban all right turns on red across Denver after deadly year for pedestrians and cyclists

“Just changing the law doesn't mean that people will change their behavior overnight,” Locantore explained. Her coalition is urging the city to focus on dangerous intersections first, like Federal Blvd. and Colfax Ave.

While pedestrian fatalities hit an all-time high in 2023 statewide, the city of Denver reported its own alarming data.

According to the Denver Police Department's crash dashboard, 32 pedestrians were killed on city streets last year. That’s up 113% from a decade prior.

Advocates for the change hope Denver follows in the footsteps of cities like New York City and Seattle that have already made the change.

“We believe we have a moral obligation to take these steps; do what we can to make our streets safer for everybody,” said Locantore.

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.