Vision Zero Stories

As Vision Zero continues to gain more attention in Denver, the Denver Vision Zero Coalition wants to share the stories of Denver traffic crash victims as a reminder of why the goal of zero fatalities or serious injuries on our streets is the right goal for our city. No one should die or suffer serious injuries just trying to get around Denver. The Vision Zero Stories series will serve as both a heartfelt tribute and powerful storytelling tool in ensuring that steps are taken to eliminate preventable traffic crashes here in Denver.

We are inviting Denverites who have been affected by traffic crashes to share their stories and help raise awareness of the human costs of unsafe streets​. Submissions in any medium are welcome (narrative, poetry, song, video, photo collage, drawing, painting​, etc.) and should convey the values of Vision Zero. If you would like to share your story about how a traffic fatality or serious injury has affected your life, please contact Jill Locantore at jill.locantore@walkdenver.org.

 

Ean Tafoya

My Vision Zero story is related to a bicycle incident I had as a child. It was such a profound experience that it spurred me on to my bicycle activism as an adult.

When I was 7 years old, I was playing with neighborhood friends one day. We decide to head to the school to play. My mother was always diligent about me wearing a helmet. So as my peers mounted their bikes and sped off down the alley I took a moment to put on my helmet. I zoomed downhill trying to catching up. I raced out of the alley between Irving and Julian onto Bayaud and was struck by a vehicle. I blacked out and woke up on the ground in a daze. I got up and began walking home since I was only down the street from my house.

My elderly neighbor, who had known my mother when she was young, came out screaming and cared for me until the firefighters arrived. I still remember being strapped to the board and my jeans cut off. In the end I lost of my two front teeth, broke my palate bone, suffered no internal injuries, and had a complex and length surgery at the then Denver General to repair the roof of my mouth. It took many years to recovery from the injury, including needing to expand my mouth with a painful retainer. To this day I feel the effects in my mouth. The real blessing and irony is that the helmet saved my life – it split in two, while my bicycle frame bent in half.

As a member of the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, I worked towards bicycle education and helmets for kids. I am so pleased to see education around bicycling incorporated into the recreation centers and Safe Routes to School programs. I am also an advocate for protected bikeways. I fully support Vision Zero because I believe that everyone should have multimodal choices and be able to get home safely.

Streetsblog Denver Remembrances

Remembering Tina Padilla, Whose Life Was Cut Short on Federal Boulevard – October 17, 2017

Raymond Sanchez Was the Fifth Person Killed Walking on Federal Blvd This Year – September 5, 2017

Woman Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver in South Broadway Alley Was Kimberly Macey – June 14, 2017

Walk and Ride of Silence Memorializes the People Who’ve Died in Denver Traffic – May 18, 2017

Remembering Damian Solis, 11, Killed Crossing the Street – May 4, 2017

Remembering Danny Bramer, the Fourth Pedestrian Killed on Denver’s Streets This Year – May 4, 2017

Remembering People Who’ve Lost Their Lives Walking Denver Streets in 2017 – April 5, 2017

In Memory of Those Who Lost Their Lives to Dangerous Denver Streets – November 21, 2016