Thornton Vision Zero - Travel Without Tragedy

We want to hear from you!

Crash analysis has been completed and was used to determine crash profiles (the most common types of fatal and serious injury crashes that are happening) in Thornton. These crash profiles were then combined with community input to develop a draft of recommended strategies to reduce crashes. This information was presented at the Thornton Vision Zero Open House held on June 24th, 2024 at the Margaret Carpenter to get input from the public on the draft strategies. If you were unable to attend the open house you can still provide your input by taking our survey. Click here to access the survey. The last day to take the survey is July 31, 2024.

Information presented at the June 24th, 2024 Thornton Vision Zero Open House and glossary of improvements:

Crash Analysis, Community Input, High Injury Network, and Equity Index [PDF/4.9MB]

Crash Profiles and Recommended Strategies [PDF/2.3MB]

Glossary of Improvements [PDF/387KB]

Project Overview

The City of Thornton is taking a bold step in eliminating fatal and serious injury traffic crashes within city limits by developing an aggressive and actionable Vision Zero Action Plan. The goal of this Vision Zero Action Plan is to create a safe transportation system for all roadway users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and vehicle users. The Plan will identify projects and actions the city will implement to improve traffic safety on the city’s streets.

Adoption of a Vision Zero Action Plan was a key directive of the city’s 2022 Transportation and Mobility Master Plan. Thornton was awarded a Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) planning grant from the US Department of Transportation to develop this plan. Like many communities in Colorado and around the nation, Thornton is taking a proactive approach in identifying and prioritizing local infrastructure that will greatly benefit from safety improvements to help reduce the number of severe crashes that result in fatality or serious injury.

What is Vision Zero? Vision Zero is a long-term strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. Vision Zero is based on the philosophy that we have the power to prevent people being killed or seriously injured in car crashes. This is a departure from traditional views of traffic safety, where a certain number of crashes are expected and when they do happen, they are considered unfortunate accidents due to human error. Vision Zero contends that fatalities due to car crashes are preventable through a multi-disciplinary approach that brings together stakeholders and partners to create and maintain traffic safety systems using a Safe System Approach.

Vision Zero is not a slogan, not a tagline, not even just a program. It is a fundamentally different way to approach traffic safety.

Over the last two decades hundreds of communities around the world have adopted a Vision Zero strategy and Plan, including the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) through the Taking Action on Vision Zero Plan. For more background on Vision Zero, visit the Vision Zero Network.

Need for a Thornton Vision Zero Plan

Between 2018 and 2022, 37 people were killed in a traffic crash on Thornton’s streets and another 190 people were seriously injured according to crash data from the Colorado Department of Transportation. Of the 227 people that were seriously injured or killed:

  • 29 were walking
  • 12 were on a bicycle
  • 186 were in a car

The goal for this project is to develop an action plan that will bring this number down to zero.

Anticipated Outcomes

The Thornton Vision Zero Action Plan will result in the following core outcomes:

  • Robust Crash Analysis – To illustrate where crashes are occurring, common crash types, and high-risk crash locations particularly for severe crashes and to develop a high injury network map.
  • Community Input – Surveys, stakeholder interviews, community meetings, and other ways to understand community traffic safety concerns and inform actions.
  • Data Transparency – Crash data and analysis will be publicly available via a dashboard maintained by the city, ensuring Thornton residents have insight into Vision Zero goals and progress.
  • Prioritized List of Projects & Actionable Strategies – The plan will provide a prioritized list of projects and actions that the city will work to secure funding for implementation after the plan is complete.

Tentative Timeline and Milestones

This project kicked off in January 2024. A final plan is anticipated in October of 2024, with council adoption by the end of 2024. Implementation will begin in 2025. There will be opportunities for public engagement during each major stage of the project.

Project Updates

Meeting summaries, data findings, and draft documents will be posted on the webpage as they are developed. Please check back for future updates.

How to Participate

We want to hear from you! Please share your experiences driving, biking and walking in Thornton. Are there parts of the city you think are particularly unsafe? Where do you think there are safety concerns like inadequate sight distances, conflicts between turning vehicles and pedestrians or bicyclists or an unusual number of crashes?

Here are ways to provide your input on the project:

  • Online Survey and Interactive Webmap – The project team has developed an online community survey and interactive webmap to solicit input on traffic safety concerns. The survey is open to the entire community.
  • In-Person Engagement Opportunities – There will be opportunities for the public to interact with the project team at various community events throughout the year. We will post dates and locations of events as we identify them and also announce them through the city's various media and social media outlets.
  • Summer Open House – The City will be hosting a public open house on June 24, 2024 to present initial recommendations based on input from the survey, data analysis and outreach events. The location of the open house is the Margaret Carpenter Recreation Center (11151 Colorado Boulevard) in Multipurpose Rooms A and B. The open house will be from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.


Please contact Darrell Alston at with any questions.

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