48 people killed while walking, rolling, biking and driving around Denver this year get a COVID-style memorial

The International Day of Remembrance is a little different this year.

Denver Streets Partnership Executive Director Jill Locantore lights candles in the window of her City Park West home for a World Day of Remembrance for people killed in traffic crashes. Nov. 18, 2020.

Denver Streets Partnership Executive Director Jill Locantore lights candles in the window of her City Park West home for a World Day of Remembrance for people killed in traffic crashes. Nov. 18, 2020.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
staff photos

So far in 2020, 48 people have been killed trying to travel around Denver, according to the Denver Police Department.

The numbers are bad each and every year, especially if you recognize, as the city government officially does under the banner of Vision Zero, that one traffic death is too many. Each year, advocates for safe streets and friends and family of victims get together on the United Nation’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and think about the people behind those numbers.

This year is no different, except that it’s all virtual. The Denver Streets Partnership has a week’s worth of Facebook events, including a Wednesday night at-home candle vigil.

“This year has been heartbreaking for so many reasons, including the deaths of 48 people who were killed in preventable traffic crashes on Denver’s streets,” said Jill Locantore, executive director of the Denver Streets Partnership, in a statement. “We’ve also seen glimmers of hope, such as the overwhelming community support for repurposing street space during COVID to create more safe places for people walking, biking, and patronizing local businesses.”

The Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure helped turn streets into outdoor dining rooms and partially closed some streets to most car traffic as the pandemic pushed people outside.

“The city should seize this moment to accelerate the pace of safe streets improvements and rebuild our economy around healthy, active transportation options,” Locantore said.

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