Community asks Mayor Hancock to fund safety improvements on Federal

by Jessica Vargas on May 11, 2018

Community organizations request funding commitment for Federal Boulevard in the 2019 City Budget

As the City is starting to put together its annual budget, the Denver Vision Zero Coalition and community organizations all along the Federal Boulevard corridor came together to submit a letter to Mayor Hancock requesting $5 million toward transportation and mobility improvements on Federal in 2019. This funding would demonstrate the Mayor’s continued commitment to achieving Vision Zero by making a significant investment toward improving safety on Denver’s deadliest street.

Last September, the Coalition’s call to action for immediate traffic safety fixes on Federal resulted in the convening of the “One Federal Boulevard” task force to expedite safety improvement efforts among Denver Public Works, the Denver Police Department, and the Colorado Department of Transportation. The City is already undertaking specific actions, including signal and lighting improvements, as well as the complete reconstruction of the street between 5th Avenue and Holden. Now, the community is asking for additional funding to expand the scope and focus of current efforts to additional segments of the corridor.

Read the full letter

Federal Boulevard is a critical north-south link on Denver’s west side connecting people to local cultural districts and regional destinations. It is also home to some of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city, including a mixture of immigrant, low-income, and young adult and senior populations as well as established neighborhoods and college campus communities. Federal Boulevard serves as a main street for these neighborhoods by providing them access to several public social service destinations, a number of community, city and regional parks and a plethora of cherished local minority-owned businesses. The Coalition reached out to their community partners who signed on to the letter to ask them this question:

Why is funding for mobility improvements on Federal Boulevard important to your community?

Here’s what some of them had to say:

“I feel that all pedestrians deserve to be able to walk anywhere in our beautiful city and be safe doing so, either for self care or because their only means of transportation is to bike, walk, or use public transit. This money will make that possible.”

– Lisa Saenz, Sun Valley Community Coalition

“More pedestrian fatalities occur on Federal than on any other street in the city. We haven’t been given a timeline as to when the bond funding for streetscape improvements on Federal might come, and indeed, that money might not be allocated for years. For that reason, we have joined the Vision Zero Coalition to ask the city to set aside money in the 2019 budget to be allocated specifically to Federal Boulevard improvements. Quite simply, we cannot afford to wait any longer; we don’t want any more people to die.”

– Leslie Twarogowski, Federal Boulevard Business Improvement District

“Valverde is passionate about mobility improvements on Federal as a neighborhood isolated by highways and high injury streets that we need to cross in order to access any resources and facilities (rec centers, libraries, grocery stores, etc.). Residents who want to walk, wheel and use transit, as well as those who depend on these modes, feel unsafe with the dangerous speeds and number of crashes we’ve witnessed. Valverde would love for the City to prioritize Federal’s more vulnerable users and start transforming it into a corridor that offers safe and pleasant options for us to get around.”

– Maureen McCanna, Valverde Neighborhood Association

“Mobility improvements on the Federal corridor are vital to Barnum because Federal Blvd is our front door, our gateway to opportunity and culture. Not all of our residents choose to or are able to drive, so whether our community is walking, biking, traveling in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller, safe and equal access to Federal Blvd is necessary.”

– Kaye Kavanagh, Barnum Neighborhood Association

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