The Vision Zero Photovoice Project tells community stories about Federal Boulevard

by Jessica Vargas on February 28, 2018

Federal Boulevard and Vision Zero

In 2018, Denver Public Works will begin implementing changes to Federal Boulevard to make it safer and easier to walk, bike, and access transit. This would also help achieve the City’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries by the year 2030. Currently, Federal Boulevard is one of the most dangerous streets for people walking and biking in Denver. It is identified in the Vision Zero Action Plan as part of the High Injury Network (HIN), the 5% of City streets where half of all traffic fatalities occur. Since 2012, 21 people have lost their lives while walking on Federal Boulevard. Seven people were killed in 2017 alone. This fatality rate is more than 20 times the average for an urban street in Colorado.

The communities along Federal are vibrant and diverse. The area is home to just over a quarter of all Denver residents. The corridor itself is a unique mix of destinations that include local businesses, homes, and important services. Federal also has the second highest bus ridership in Denver, making it an important transit corridor for all of West Denver. There are many assets as well as opportunities. As the City considers changes, the City and WalkDenver wanted to highlight stories that showed:

  • What makes you feel safe or happy while traveling through your community?
  • What makes you feel unsafe when traveling through your community?

The Photovoice Project

Last year, the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative (NDCC), Denver Smart City, the University of Denver, The GrowHaus, and PCs for People partnered on a pilot Smart City Photovoice Project in North Denver. The project engaged 13 teenagers from the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods to have their voice heard through photography by documenting their experiences in their communities. The Federal Boulevard workshop similarly prepared participants to take pictures that illustrate their experiences getting around on Federal Boulevard. They worked with their fellow participants to compile photographs and videos for a public exhibit at the City’s Vision Zero Summit that was held on May 12.

The workshop was held on Tuesdays in April 2018 for a total of four one-hour sessions plus the public exhibit in May. The program was open to anyone who lives, works, or spends a significant amount of time in a neighborhood near Federal Boulevard and wanted to share their experiences traveling on or near the corridor. Participants received:

  • A $25 Visa gift card for every session they attended (so a total of $125 could be earned for attending all four workshops plus the final exhibit).
  • A laptop to use during sessions that was theirs to keep after completing all the sessions.
  • Food, childcare, and translation services at each session.

All four workshop sessions were held at the Federico F. Peña Southwest Family Health Center on Federal Blvd and Louisiana Ave on April 3, 10, 17, and 24 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. The Vision Zero Summit on May 12 that hosted the final public exhibit of the participants’ work was held at the PPA Event Center in Jefferson Park.

Stay tuned for a final report on the results of the Photovoice project and be sure to check out the Photovoice exhibit on display in the atrium of the Webb building coming in October 2018!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: