The Vision Zero Photovoice Project will tell 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 want to highlight stories that show:

  • 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 will similarly prepare participants to take pictures that illustrate their experiences getting around on Federal Boulevard. They will work with their fellow participants to compile photographs and videos for a public exhibit at the City’s Vision Zero Summit on May 12.

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

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

All four workshop sessions will be 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 will host the final public exhibit of the participants’ work will be held at the PPA Event Center in Jefferson Park.

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