Denver could ban right turns on red
A push to ban right turns on red is gaining speed in Denver and across the country.
Driving the news: In a recent report, Mayor Mike Johnston's transition committee on transportation recommended ending right on red in areas where crashes with pedestrians and cyclists are more common.
- Those "high-injury" corridors include East Colfax, South Federal, Lincoln, Broadway and downtown.
- Johnston is now "evaluating these recommendations and taking them into consideration," his spokesperson Jordan Fuja tells us.
By the numbers: Last year, Denver recorded 27 pedestrian fatalities — the highest number in over a decade, city data shows.
What they're saying: Wesley Marshall, a civil engineering professor at the University of Colorado Denver, told 9News that a ban would have little effect on traffic flow.
- "We can all sit around and wait a few more seconds, and everyone can get through there safely. We'd all be better off," he said.
Context: The decades-old practice of allowing right-on-red turns at intersections originated during the oil embargo of the 1970s.
- It was believed at the time that the measure could conserve fuel, and states were required to adopt the policy to receive federal highway funding.
What's next: Johnston is weighing whether to pursue the ban as he develops his policy priorities, says Fuja. How soon his decision will land remains unclear.
- The policy change would require approval from the Denver City Council.
Flashback: The council voted in 2021 to lower residential speed limits from 25 mph to 20 mph in the name of public safety.
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