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Fort Collins wants to eliminate traffic accident deaths, serious injuries by 2023

A bicycle painted white hangs on a gray fence next to a rusted pole while a pair of hands hold a bouquet of yellow flowers toward the bike's rear wheel.
Courtesy of City of Fort Collins
Roadside memorials and 'ghost bikes' mark fatal traffic crash sites. This ghost bike at Vine drive and Jerome street memorializes a local bicyclist. With "Vision Zero," Fort Collins is working toward zero traffic deaths through infrastructure improvements and better access to alternative transportation.

It’s called ‘Vision Zero.’ An ambitious proposal in Fort Collins to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries to zero in a decade plans to focus on road safety improvements in areas of the city with a high risk of crashes. That might involve narrowing roads, reducing speed limits or adding roundabouts to slow vehicles down.

Another part of the plan is to add more protections and route options for cyclists and pedestrians.

Cortney Geary stands at a blue podium outdoors smiling with three onlookers watching her, two of whom wear bike helmets.
City of Fort Collins
Cortney Geary speaks during Winter Bike to Work Day this month in Fort Collins. Geary is the city's Active Modes Manager in the department of transportation planning.

“Fort Collins is a great place to ride a bike for a U.S. city,” Cortney Geary of the city’s transportation planning department said. “There are models in the Netherlands and in Denmark and Germany of really world-class cities for cycling that we look to often and can take a lot of great lessons from to make Fort Collins an even better place to ride a bike.”

Geary said expanding bike networks to give cyclists more options for getting around is an important part of ‘Vision Zero.’ The Fort Collins city council recently adopted another plan to put millions more into bike route infrastructure. Geary added that improvements to help pedestrians are also part of the work ahead.

‘Vision Zero’ will also look at ways to get people to drive less, such as investing more in public transit. As Geary points out, making alternative modes of transportation more accessible would also improve the city's environmental footprint.

“Anything that we can do to get more people shifting to biking and walking and public transit is helping us meet our climate goals,” Geary said.

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