Brittany Spinner, our L/BCRNO Membership Coordinator, shares her personal story of what life is like for her young family. She explains how limiting Lincoln Street’s deadly conditions are and provides solutions for addressing these problems. Check out the video she made that describes her family’s experience after moving to Colorado, where her husband was born and raised.
In her words:
Simply put, my children can’t go for a walk, ride their bikes, or even play on the street they are growing up on because doing so puts them at risk. We live on Lincoln Street in Wash Park West, in a downtown neighborhood located in south Denver. Here, drivers speed at an average of 45-60mph in a 30mph zone with little regard for our area, which is a residential street full of families. A few months ago, a driver was caught speeding at 110mph just feet away from our front door!
To say “hello” to our neighbors as we walk down our street, we need to yell in order for them to hear us. The daily average decibel level is 75-80, due to the material of the street and the high traffic speeds. If a neighbor is across the street, there is no way to communicate because we can’t hear each other. This also prevents our children from making friends with other children on their block. Many segments of Lincoln do not have crosswalks, so we risk our lives just to walk to the grocery stores directly across the street or in the South Broadway area, which we moved here to enjoy.
Lincoln Street Is a Freeway and It Shouldn’t Be That Way
Drivers speed on our residential street because of the highway-style design: concrete panel surface and wide, four-lane width. It is no wonder that Lincoln Street is in the High-Injury Network, the 5% of streets that bear the burden of 50% of traffic deaths.
Other north-south parallel streets in the area that are designated as residential arterials by Blueprint Denver — streets such as Logan and Downing — have traffic-calming elements: landscaped dividers or parking as a buffer to protect pedestrians and narrow the street width and crossing distance. Because of their safer, more pedestrian-friendly design, these streets are not in the High Injury Network, so clearly their arterial design is safer, by comparison. They are also slated for additional traffic calming additions to improve crossings.
To address Lincoln Street’s numerous problems, we must act now to improve safety conditions, lower speeds, and provide protections for pedestrians before my or my neighbors’ children die due to the unsafe driving habits that the highway-style street conditions promote.
We are calling upon our Denver Department of Transportation & Infrastructure, Mayor Hancock, and our City Council to prioritize funding to improve Lincoln Street between I-25 at Ohio and Speer. Please read our carefully researched plan to address the problems and allocate funding to execute this plan to make Lincoln safer. Aren’t our kids worth it?
With the likely increase in cars as more people move to our region, it’s only going to get worse. Let’s address it now to stop traffic violence and improve transit for everyone in this area, so people have the option to choose a non-car transportation method.