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New signs aim to raise awareness of how unsafe Denver streets are for bicyclists and pedestrians

88 people lost their lives in traffic crashes on Denver streets since January 2018. A new campaign hopes to encourage change to keep them safe.

DENVER, Colorado — New signage popping up around Denver is encouraging people to remember that streets aren't just for cars.

Jill Locantore, the executive director of WalkDenver, told 9NEWS that since January 2018, 88 people have lost their lives to traffic crashes on Denver streets. 30 of those were pedestrians and and six were bicyclists. 

Last weekend, volunteers with WalkDenver installed signs around the city at the location of fatal crashes, Locantore said. Each sign bears the name of the victim killed at that location.

"It’s really heartbreaking. Every single name is a person whose life was cut short from a preventable tragedy," Locantore said.

The signs are the precursor for the 2019 Ride & Walk of Silence.

On Wednesday, May 15, WalkDenver is encouraging the public to join them at the City and County Building at 5:30 p.m. From there, the group will walk and bike to the Sunken Gardens off of Speer Boulevard "for a ceremony to honor the victims of the traffic crashes."

Locantore cited Speer Boulevard as one of the streets in Denver that lacks accommodations for cyclists.

"There's just high-speed traffic going down multiple lanes and so it feels very unsafe," she said.

Xavier Fretard died at the intersection of Speer Boulevard and Logan Street. There's now a sign on the corner commemorating his life.

"We know how to make our streets safe and it’s just really upsetting that we are allowing so many people to die every year when we could be doing things to make our streets safer," Locantore told 9NEWS.

According to Locantore, the solution is to "redesign our streets to be safe for people, not just conduits for cars. That means reclaiming some of the space that we’ve given over for high-speed traffic and reallocating it to sidewalks for pedestrians, bike lanes for people riding bikes, and safe places for people to wait for the bus."

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