Transportation

Most Dangerous Streets in Denver Now

The aftermath of a fatal crash on East Colfax last month.
The aftermath of a fatal crash on East Colfax last month. Denver7 via YouTube
Denver has many streets that present dangers to drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bike riders. But twenty stand out above the rest, and six have each seen more than 100 traffic deaths or serious injuries in under a decade.

Since 2020, Westword has compiled lists of the most dangerous streets in Denver based on the number of accidents resulting in fatalities or serious bodily injuries, or SBIs, as tracked by the data dashboard maintained by Vision Zero, a five-year City of Denver action plan launched in 2017 with the self-described goal of "eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries by making our roadways safer for everyone" by 2030.

This goal is a long way from being achieved. Even before Westword published our second most-dangerous-streets roster on May 26, 2021, traffic-related casualties were escalating. According to Denver Police Department figures, 84 people were killed in vehicular incidents last year — well over the 57 in 2020 and by far the most since Vision Zero's launch. And the tragic pace doesn't seem to be slackening. Through May 17, the DPD had counted thirty fatal accidents — and summer months are generally the deadliest.

The statistics on the Vision Zero dashboard have been recalculated since that last Westword update. But street-by-street comparisons are still possible, and they show that major arterials continue to produce the most fatalities and serious bodily injuries.

Leading Denver's most dangerous countdown once again are Federal Boulevard and Colfax Avenue, the only two streets that each registered more than 200 traffic deaths and SBIs since 2013, the starting point for the Vision Zero data.

Of the 227 incidents on Federal Boulevard over that span, 96 involved people in cars, 67 pertained to pedestrians, 41 were linked to motorcycles and fifteen to cycling, with the remainder designated as "other" or "under investigation." During that same period, Colfax's total topped out at 236 — 97 related to pedestrians, 61 to automobile drivers or passengers, 46 to motorcycles and twenty to biking, as well as those in the "other" and "under investigation" categories.

To date in 2022, Colfax has seen the most fatal accidents or SBIs of any Denver street, with seven, while Federal is tied with Broadway for the second-highest amount, six.

Getting to zero won't be easy. Here's the countdown of Denver's twenty most dangerous streets now, complete with comparisons to the May 2021 list:

20. Wadsworth Boulevard (18th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 8
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 1

19. Bruce Randolph Boulevard (20th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 11
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 2

18. Ellsworth Avenue (19th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 13
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 3

17. Montview Boulevard (17th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 17
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 1

16. Morrison Road (16th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 18
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 2

15. Lowell Boulevard (14th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 24
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 5

14. Brighton Boulevard (15th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 30
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 1

13. Logan Street (13th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 31
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 2

12 (tie). University Boulevard (12th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 42
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 1

12 (tie). Lincoln Street (11th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 42
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 1

10. Santa Fe Drive (10th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 54
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 4

9. Hampden Avenue (9th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 61
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 1

8. Speer Boulevard (8th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 79
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 4

7. Evans Avenue (6th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 93
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 2

6. Broadway (6th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 106
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 6

5. Alameda Avenue (4th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 107
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 4

4. Colorado Boulevard (3rd in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 121
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 3

3. Sheridan Boulevard (5th in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 123
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 4

2. Federal Boulevard (1st in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 227
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 6

1. Colfax Avenue (2nd in May 2021)
Killed or seriously injured, 2013-2022: 236
Killed or seriously injured, 2022: 7
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts