Youth Active Transportation Safety Grant Results: Colorado

Teens and a teacher standing together smiling and looking at the camera
Resource Type
State Highway Safety Showcase

The schools in Commerce City, Colorado, were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s when fewer cars were on the road, making it safer for students to walk to school. Today, however, the lack of infrastructure around the city’s schools, coupled with high-speed, multi-lane roads that surround the city, makes it difficult for students to travel safely on foot to and from their classrooms.

The Colorado Office of Transportation Safety partnered with Adelante Community Development, a non-profit organization focused on serving Latino families and entrepreneurs, to recruit and train teens as part of the Traffic Safety Youth Advisory Board (TSYAB). These teens were trained to be ambassadors and educated their peers in Commerce City about pedestrian, bicycle and other safe mobility practices. 

Community Outreach 

Eight student ambassadors came together to form "Voz y Vision Valida" (Valid Voice and Vision or VVV). After a tragic incident in their community when a 16-year-old was killed in a hit-and-run, they shifted their focus to advocating for safer roads and pedestrian-friendly measures. Their tireless efforts, including submitting letters and presenting to City Council members, resulted in the installation of 58 speed tables and humps along 34 corridors around schools. Their initiative and determination made a significant impact on their community and inspired positive change.

Group of teens smiling and holding certificates, with text that reads gracias / thank you

The group also purchased signage from Zone Crew and donated it to the Adams 14 School District for use at Adams City High School. These signs are designed to slow down traffic by alerting drivers to pedestrian crossings.

Project Communications

Adelante used its Facebook page to communicate with city residents. CDOT issued a press release that generated coverage from English and Spanish media, reaching over 190,000 individuals. Additionally, the project generated three news stories:

Image of a news story with the headline "Grant funds Traffic Safety Youth Advisory Board in Commerce City"

Project Impact 

Installing the speed tables is undeniably the project’s biggest success. The youth were instrumental in driving positive change in the community and continue to do so today. The City Engineer recognized the value of the youth's recommendations and continues to work closely with them throughout the year, fueling their passion for making a difference in their community.

Resource Category
State Highway Safety Showcase