By Allen Cowgill
The amount of bikeways being installed in North Denver is increasing since we last took a tally on this in 2020.
Two years ago Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) had planned to install 11 bike lanes in North Denver. Since then the list has grown to 18, and eight of those bike lanes have already been installed in the last couple of years since our last report on the subject.
The list has grown due to DOTI’s coordinated bike lane and striping program, where the department adds bike lanes to streets concurrently with their scheduled repaving.
The list of bike lanes that have already be installed include:
• W. 46th Ave bike lane, Federal Boulevard to Navajo Street; West Byron Place neighborhood bikeway, Zenobia St to Vrain St
• West 44th Avenue bikeway, Inca Street to Lipan Street; Lipan St bike lane, 44th Avenue to 46th Avenue
• West 23rd Avenue protected bike lane, Federal Blvd to Speer overpass
• West 50th Avenue bike lane, Federal Boulevard to Tennyson Street
• Harlan/Gray Street bikeway and bike lane from 49th Avenue to 52nd Avenue
• Zuni St. bike lane and bikeway, 46th Avenue to 52nd Avenue
• The West 17th Ave protected bike lane and bike lane between Sheridan Blvd and Federal Boulevard
The West 17th Avenue protected bike lane is the second ever protected bike lane in North Denver and was installed in August of this year. DOTI has generally used three different types of bike lanes in North Denver.
The first is the painted bike lane, which consists of a painted line that indicates to road users where bikes, scooters, and wheelchairs can go. The second is a protected bike lane that features a painted bike lane with vertical separation between bikes and the vehicle travel lane like plastic bollards and rubber curbs. The third type is a neighborhood bikeway, where people on bikes share the road with drivers on more quiet residential streets. The neighborhood bikeway features designs like sharrows (a shared lane marking with a picture of a bicycle on a bike with two chevrons above it), traffic circles, and plastic bollards and paint that are designed to calm traffic and slow down drivers.
DOTI generally decides the design of the bike lanes based on the speed and volume of traffic, as well as community input.
“As we’ve engaged with community members the last couple of years through our Community Transportation Networks program, we’ve been mapping out plans to install a complete bike network in Northwest Denver that reflects public input and desires for a network that safely connects people to the places they want to go including parks, schools and stores,” DOTI spokesperson Vanessa Lacayo said.
There are still nine bike lanes left to be installed that incorporate about 19 miles of new bikeways and bike lanes (when you include both directions of travel). One of the most interesting sections of bike lane will be the North Perry St. bike lane.
On the section between 20th to 27th Avenue, DOTI will test out speed cushions, one of three locations in the city.
“Speed cushions are modified speed bumps, divided into sections to allow vehicles with a larger wheel bases, such as a fire truck or ambulance, to straddle them without delaying response time,” Lacayo said. “By piloting the treatments in some different locations, we can review their effectiveness and where it makes sense to use them moving forward.”
In terms of what is next for construction, DOTI said that they hope to install new bike lanes on West 46th Ave between Tennyson and Federal, and the neighborhood bikeways on Julian and Eliot St in 2022 weather pending.
In 2023, DOTI hopes to install neighborhood bikeways on:
• Clay Street, 32nd to 46th Avenue Perry Street, Lakeshore Dr. to 46th Ave
• 41st Ave, Perry Street to Navajo Street
• Navajo Street, 41st to 40th Avenue
• 40th Avenue, Navajo Street to Inca Street
• Eliot Street, 20th to 29th Avenue.
DOTI is also looking to complete the 23rd Avenue bike facility, which will include a neighborhood bikeway from Stuart to Quitmann, and bike lane/buffered bike lane from Quitmann to Lowell. The proposed bike lane on Lowell Boulevard has been modified a bit from its original design.
Lacayo said that “the city worked with the community this spring to develop a conceptual design for a connection for bicyclists between the Clear Creek Trail, Regis University, and Rocky Mountain Lake Park.
This includes a proposed neighborhood bikeway along Meade St. from West 52nd Avenue to West 48th Avenue, with a connection along W. 48th Avenue to Lowell Boulevard, and a protected bike lane along Lowell Blvd from W. 48th Avenue to W. 46th Avenue. DOTI plans to come back to the community this fall with an updated design. For more detail, see denvermoves.konveio.com/northwest- community-transportation-network.
Regarding the Tejon St. bike lane, that has drawn a lot of attention from residents, Lacayo said that “DOTI is still exploring improvements for people bicycling along North Tejon Street south of 46th Avue or a parallel street as part of the Northwest Community Transportation Network program.
When updates are available, they will be posted on the program website where residents can stay on top of that project and get updates for all new DOTI bike lanes at bit.ly/denvermovesnetworks.
Allen Cowgill is the Council District 1 Appointee and Secretary on the DOTI Advisory Board.
Re Tejon, can we get a 4-way stop at 35th? My experience is that is Ok, but could be much more comfortable for “interested but concerned” population if motorists had to come to full stop.