The Colorado Department of Transportation is adding another step to your normal routine of looking left and right at crosswalks: Put your phone away, too.
The department will be telling you this through temporary, glow-in-the-dark sidewalk art around some of Denver’s busiest pedestrian areas, including Cherry Creek and the 16th Street Mall.
It’s part of a broader attempt to reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths, because the number of pedestrians dying on Colorado’s roads has climbed over the last few years.
The average from 2006 to 2015 was fewer than 60 pedestrian deaths per year. The numbers hit 84 deaths in 2016 and 93 deaths in 2017. The spike in overall road deaths has been especially noticeable in urban Colorado over these last few years.
So, this new art campaign in Denver will encourage you to “stow your phone before crossing.” The messages should be in place through May.
The department also is asking drivers to behave better. I’d like to see some clever art that tells drivers that, traditionally, you stop before the crosswalk.
This happens to me constantly: A car will zoom up to the intersection, and stop directly in the crosswalk, which people apparently think is OK because they’re trying to make a right turn.
I think we should hire mimes to walk into the side of these crosswalk-blocking cars and do a ridiculous barrel roll onto their hoods, and then just stare at the drivers.
Just an idea.