10 dangerous intersections for Lakewood pedestrians

5 min. read
The intersection of Kendall and Colfax. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) kendall and colfax; dangerous intersections; denverite; denver; kevinjbeaty; colorado;

The intersection of Kendall and Colfax. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The funny thing about walking is that everyone does it. For instance, people are crossing the streets of Lakewood at this very moment.

So once again, Denverite is looking at dangerous intersections for pedestrians, this time in Lakewood.

Just like for the dangerous intersections of Denver, data from 2011 to 2016 was used to calculate which intersections are the most dangerous.

Unlike Denver, Lakewood isn't a place that I live or walk regularly. So Lakewood's Principal Traffic Engineer Matt Duncan passed on some insights about the city's pedestrian-involved collisions.

Across the city, there were a total of 1,901 collisions that involved a pedestrian from 2011 to 2014, according to Duncan. Of those, only 410 were at an intersection. In almost 1,500 other crashes drove off the road and into an area where pedestrians are expected, like a sidewalk or curb.

Here are some more common causes:

  • 333 involved alcohol or drugs
  • 915 happened at night
  • 239 collisions happened when the passenger distracted the driver
  • 201 collisions happened when driver was texting or otherwise distracted
  • 200 drivers weren't familiar with where they were
  • 50 drivers were asleep at wheel

"The reason I wanted to pull those out is because engineering-wise, there's very little that we can do about any of those crashes," Duncan said. "If an intersection's not signed well, sure, we can mitigate those types of things, but as far as drunk driving, the police are really important."

Lakewood Police keep their data a bit differently, so to break ties among intersections, I considered whether the police said the pedestrian was at fault or not. If there were fewer pedestrians at fault, but the same number of accidents, that was deemed more dangerous.

10. West 2nd Place and Union Boulevard, 4 collisions, 2 cars at fault

"That is right by the St. Anthony's medical complex, but also by a light rail station," Duncan said. "So that intersection probably has the greatest demand for pedestrians of the ones that we've talked about, with the exception of Cedar and Union. Part of it is just having more pedestrians there."

9. West Girton Avenue and South Wadsworth Boulevard, 4 collisions, 3 cars at fault

"Sounds like two of those were at-fault drivers where they should've been able to see a pedestrian and for some reason didn't," Duncan said.

One of the reasons that happens is because pedestrians move differently than cars sometimes. If a driver is turning left, he or she might be looking for oncoming cars instead of pedestrians. Maybe that's how one driver got his or her "FAIL TO YIELD TO PED IN CROSSWALK" charge.

8. West Mississippi Avenue and South Wadsworth Boulevard, 5 collisions, 3 cars at fault

"Alameda High School's right there, so we have a lot of pedestrians that are using the roadway," Duncan said.

"That intersection we just made some modifications like audible crosswalk tones by getting some safety funding from CDOT," he added. This particular intersection had "a lot of left-turn crashes," so there are now protections for that turn.

7. West 10th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard, 5 collisions, 5 cars at fault

Though Lakewood police respond to it, this isn't a Lakewood intersection, Duncan says.

Denver Public Works rebuilt the intersection in May 2013, says Spokesperson Nancy Kuhn. That includes new asphalt in the intersection, added pedestrian countdowns (those hands with numbers counting down,) new pedestrian ramps and striping.

The indications help pedestrians by giving them information on how long they have to cross the street, Kuhn said.

Only one accident has occurred since those improvements, according to Lakewood.

6. West Colfax Avenue and Teller Street, 6 collisions, 1 car at fault

"One of those, I don't know that the incident was thrown out, but the agent that responded that sounded like it might need to be dismissed because of a lack of evidence," Duncan said.

5. West Colfax Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard, 6 collisions, 2 cars at fault

Though Lakewood police respond to it, this isn't a Lakewood intersection, Duncan says.

Denver upgraded this intersection in October 2015, says Nancy Kuhn of Denver Public Works. Unfortunately, at least one pedestrian-involved accident has happened since then.

4. West Colfax Avenue and Lamar Street, 7 collisions, 1 car at fault

Six out of the seven pedestrians crossed against light. But there also wasn't a signal there either until about a year ago.

"That's probably why there was a lot of pedestrians at fault," Duncan said. Sure enough, there haven't been any collisions since December 2015.

3. West Colfax Avenue and Kipling Street, 7 collisions, 3 cars at fault

Of the drivers at fault, Duncan again noted that pedestrians, unlike bikes, sometimes move against the flow of traffic. That can lead to accidents where the driver doesn't think about pedestrians.

"I think it's the same thing, the driver maybe not keeping in mind that there's a pedestrian to the right on a right turn," he said.

2. West Colfax Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard, 8 collisions

"Especially Colfax and Wadsworth, there are a lot of bus stops there," Duncan said. "So there's a lot of pedestrians at that intersection transferring bus routes and other things like that."

1. West Colfax Avenue and Kendall Street, 16 collisions
The intersection of Kendall and Colfax. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

"We moved that signal about a year ago from Kendal to Lamar for pedestrian and cyclist safety," Duncan said.

Seems like that was a good move since there has been no pedestrian-involved collisions since August 2015. On the other hand, pedestrians are still crossing in this area, as evidenced by Denverite's photo.

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