Bicycling in Denver Keeps Getting Better and Better

Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver Partnership CEO Tami Door ride down the 15th Street Bikeway on B-cycles.

2014 was a year of milestones for biking. The City opened its first protected bike lane, designed its first neighborhood bikeway, introduced new bicycle wayfinding signage, piloted an on-street bicycle corral and more. While delivering these projects, the City also installed 27 miles of bicycle lanes and shared lane markings (sharrows) citywide.

Installation of the 15th Street Bikeway showed a shift in how Denver is designing streets to give people more travel options. The Bikeway made a major downtown arterial street more predictable for all users, and 30 percent more bicyclists are using the corridor even with the same number of vehicles and buses. The Bikeway has also improved the pedestrian experience, reducing the number of bicyclists on the sidewalk by 60 percent. Building on the Bikeway’s success, Denver will install two protected bike lanes downtown this year, on Lawrence and Arapahoe Streets, with more bike lanes planned in the future.

Denver will also expand the low-stress bicycle experience on neighborhood streets, installing the first neighborhood bikeway on Knox Court this year (from Kentucky St. to Alameda Ave.). A neighborhood bikeway helps reduce and slow vehicle traffic to give priority to pedestrians and people on bikes, making them feel more comfortable.

To make neighborhood bikeways—and the additional 20 miles of bike lanes to be implemented in 2015—more convenient for bicycle travel, Denver Public Works is installing bicycle wayfinding signage and detection devices at seven intersections.

To make bicycle travel easier, the City is installing bike detection devices at seven intersections this summer. The graphic above explains how a bicyclist can trigger a device when approaching an intersection.

The bicycle detection project (shown at left right) will allow traffic lights to automatically recognize people on bikes without pushing the pedestrian button at the intersections. The intersections under study for installation are:

› W 35th Ave. and Federal Blvd.

› W 17th Ave. and Federal Blvd.

› E 17th Ave. and City Park Esplanade

› Colorado Blvd. and Montview St.

› York St. and E 23rd Ave.

› Evans Ave. and Oneida St.

› E 1st Ave. and Gilpin St.

In 2014, Denver was selected as one of six U.S. cities to participate in the Green Lane Project, an initiative helping cities like Denver build better bike lanes and create low-stress streets. The project focuses on protected bike lanes, which offer an enhanced travel option for people on bikes.

To learn more about these programs, and much more, visit

Rachael Bronson, Bicycle Planner, and Emily Snyder, Urban Mobility Manager, Denver Public Works, contributed to this article.