KUSA - On East Colfax Avenue, drivers could cross five of Denver's 10 worst intersections for auto-pedestrian accidents, according to a 9Wants to Know analysis of city-traffic data. Traffic engineers say high volumes of cars along Colfax increase the likelihood of such accidents.
Denver Public Works provided 9NEWS with information on 989 pedestrian accidents between 2010 and 2012. Nearly 650 people were injured in the accidents, and 23 were killed.
A hit-and-run accident on Colfax in February 2013 nearly killed a 16-year-old student walking in a crosswalk on the way to East High School. The victim, Deyondrah Bridgemen, has spent months learning how to walk and talk again. The driver, 30-year-old Erin Jackson, is being sentenced for attempted hit-and-run in a Denver courtroom Friday.
Since the crash, city crews installed new signs near Colfax and Elizabeth to better warn drivers of pedestrians and the school zone. City engineers have installed a new, brighter traffic signal, and they want to replace other signals along that stretch of road.
Top 10 worst intersections for auto-pedestrian accidents (2010-2012):
- Colfax and Broadway - 11 accidents (5 injured)
- 20th and Market - 5 accidents (3 injured)
- 13th Ave and Broadway - 5 accidents (2 injured)
- Colfax and Franklin - 4 accidents (1 killed, 3 injured)
- Colfax and Grant - 4 accidents (4 injured)
- Colfax and Lincoln - 4 accidents (2 injured)
- Colfax and Valentia - 4 accidents (3 injured)
- Federal and Kentucky - 4 accidents (3 injured)
- 38th Ave and Tennyson - 4 accidents (3 injured)
- 10th Ave and Federal - 4 accidents (3 injured)
The intersection of Colfax Avenue and Broadway had the highest number of car vs. person crashes: 11 reported from 2010 to 2012. Five people were injured. More than 50,000 cars travel through the intersection daily, and thousands of people cross the street to reach bus stops and downtown office buildings. Over the years, city public works crews made changes near that intersection to try to prevent accidents. The installation of metal fencing in Colfax's median discourages people from crossing mid-block into Civic Park. Citywide data shows that pedestrians were much more likely to die if the accident occurred in in the middle of a block versus an intersection.
9Wants to Know's analysis also found more accidents happened during certain times of day and certain times of year. Accidents peaked during the evening commute, 4 to 7 p.m.. The months of January and September also had higher numbers of accidents than other months.
Public Works tells 9Wants to Know traffic engineers monitor higher accident locations, and they review them for possible mitigations. A department spokesperson say they also consider environmental factors in engineering solutions - keeping in mind that engineering cannot change behavior.
Denver Public Works reminds drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians to keep their "heads up"when out on the road.
Interactive Map: Denver auto-pedestrian accidents (2010-2012):
Do you have a newstip? Contact 9Wants to Know investigator Melissa Blasius at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-437-2083.