Advocacy groups gather to walk dangerous intersections on Colfax Avenue

DENVER -- Several advocacy groups and community members gathered Friday to walk a mile and-a-half on East Colfax Avenue from Josephine Street to Franklin Street. It wasn’t to get exercise, but to understand the dangers for pedestrians as they focused on four intersections.

"Our most inherent, intrinsic forms of getting around is being violated by speeds that were not designed to be moving," said Jonathon Stalls with Walk2Connect, an advocacy group.

Walk Denver and Walk2Connect co-hosted the gathering, part of a series of walking events called iWalkDenver.

Carla Witt with Walk Denver was one of the walkers, concerned for the health of pedestrians and on a personal level, worried about her children who attend East High School.

"One of the biggest obstacles is what we are seeing here...-- is that it's making it hard just the average person to walk," said Witt.

The city is already planning updates to sidewalks and curbs, but the business district said it’s not enough.

Frank Locantore is the Executive Director of Colfax Ave Business Improvement District. It’s one of four organizations pushing to qualify for funding for proposed projects in that area.

"Imagining what it would be like if you were in a wheelchair or if you were blind or if you were pushing a stroller, or groceries," said Locantore.

Several years ago a student was hit by a car during her walk to class at East High School. She survived but has "sustained some head damage, a stroke and then now has a lot of disabilities, associated with that," according to Locantore. 

iWalkDenver has a list of solutions, including wider streets with protected bike lanes and more space for people to gather on sidewalks and in parks.

"So that we are not bogged down in the automobile congestion but that people have options: walking, biking, transit," said Locantore.

The group hopes the funding will come from the General Obligation Budget that is voted on in November.


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