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Pedestrian Advocacy Group Asks For City's Help In Making Streets Safer

By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4) - Another weekend, another car jumped a curb and ran into a building near downtown Denver. Recently, The Hornet on Broadway got an unexpected drive through after a driver decided to park in their dining room.

Crashing The Hornet 3 (12-1 incident, from The Hornet's FB)
(credit: The Hornet)

But, more recently on Saturday morning, a car jumped this curb at 13th Avenue and Lafayette Street. The modern machine was no match for the historic home on the corner, but it could have been much worse.

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(credit: CBS)

Neighbors say it's the fifth time a car has ended up in the yard.

"We're lucky that in this case nobody was hurt," said Capitol Hill resident Jill Locantore.

Locantore is also the executive director of WalkDenver, Denver's pedestrian advocacy organization. She says something needs to be done to prevent people from driving too fast because it's endangering her and her neighbors.

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Jill Locantore (credit: CBS)

"We do see on streets like this the same types of crashes happening over and over again and when that happens it's not just an issue of individual behavior, but there's something wrong with the design of the street itself," she said. "The longer the city delays in redesigning our streets to be safer for everybody the more people are going to be hurt."

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(credit: CBS)

WalkDenver wants the city to redesign high speed thoroughfares like 13th Avenue. They have some ideas of what they think will help slow traffic down.

"Things like narrowing the overall width of the street, providing regular safe pedestrian crossings and for streets like 13th Avenue looking at possibilities like maybe converting it back from one way to two way," Locantore said.

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(credit: CBS)

She says right now the streets aren't being used the way that neighbors want them to be. She thinks they should be more bike and pedestrian friendly, so that residents and motorists in Denver can coexist safely.

"There's a serious mismatch between the design of the street and how the community would like to be using it," she said.

CBSDenver reached out to Denver Department of Public Works for comment on the ideas proposed by WalkDenver. The spokesperson was out of the office for the weekend.

In the meantime WalkDenver is reminding drivers to slow down by posting "Slow The Funk Down" yard signs around the city.

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.

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