Photos: Top ten suggestions to make Denver a better bike city

Categories: Environment

Thumbnail image for Cycling feature cover image.jpg
Big photos below.
For "On a Roll," our feature on cycling, we connected with many local bike advocates, who have a wide range of perspectives on what officials can do to make Denver a top urban center for biking. Concerns about the rise in bike-car collisions, and the sometimes fatal results, have pushed these ideas to the forefront. Here, we give you the top suggestions for bike improvements, courtesy of the most active cycling advocates in the city.

As we outlined in our story, Denver's transformation into a more bike-friendly city is complex and not without growing pains. There are many pieces to the puzzle -- such as bike infrastructure, enforcement of laws, education efforts, changes in behavior and culture -- all of which city agencies and officials are discussing more frequently as accidents continue to raise the stakes.

We chatted with BikeDenver, the city's main advocacy group; the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Committee, a volunteer group; Denver Bike Sharing, which owns and operates B-cycle, the citywide bike-sharing program; and other advocates and civic groups that focus on cycling.

First, we give you a top ten list, compiled from suggestions of the advocates. These are some of the top infrastructure changes they would like to see the city prioritize. Below that, we also have some more broader policy suggestions.

10. 18th and 19th Street build-out

19th Street and Arapahoe.jpg
Google Maps
19th Street and Arapahoe (which has a bike lane).
Emily Snyder, the city's main bike planner, says that the Public Works Department is actively working on building out the 18th and 19th street bike routes, which would help improve the biking network in that part of downtown.

9. Old trolley line roads

Denver trolley denvertrolley.jpg
This suggestion from some B-cycle staff members is that the city consider bike infrastructure -- dedicated lanes, protected paths, boulevards separated for bikes -- on the wide, old trolley line roads in the city. This could help maximize space for bikes on these streets.

8. Improving 23rd Avenue bike route

23rd Avenue and Jefferson Park.jpg
Google Maps
23rd Avenue and Jefferson Park
Public Works' Snyder says she often hears concerns about 23rd Avenue, which is an important connection from Sloan's Lake to downtown -- and also one of the few places in Denver that has a hill.

John Hayden, chair of the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Committee says improvements on this avenue would be important for connections around Jefferson Park, and Piep van Heuven, executive director of BikeDenver, also emphasizes that out toward Stapleton, better infrastructure would be beneficial on this path.

Continue for more of the top ten suggestions to make Denver a better bike city.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

YESSSSS. Read my thoughts exactly

RobertChase topcommenter

Sam, I do not claim to be one of the leading advocates for cycling in Denver, and I agree broadly with their ideas, but I am dismayed that you do not consider my suggestion that Denver create a no-to-low-cost system that provides bicycles for public use worthy of inclusion.  I have not performed a detailed cost-analysis or founded a non-profit, but I have proposed specific steps which could make such a system work:  using the Denver Public Library system to check bicycles out of kiosks such as B-cycle now operates, using used; recycled; and donated bikes instead of $1000 Treks, using volunteers and vocational students supported by a modest recurring allocation of tax revenue to maintain the system, and involving users in the reallocation of bicycles in preference to trucking them back and forth.


I suppose that you are impervious to my arguments against B-cycle; there is a definite and unfortunate bias among people who think of themselves as liberal to swallow B-cycle's marketing of its exorbitant and exclusive bike rental scheme as "bike-sharing" whole.  After the Denver Post acknowledged some of the valid criticism of B-cycle in its recent article "Denver B-Cycle program faces criticism that it skirts poor, minorities", I would have hoped that Westword too could adopt a more objective view of B-cycle, but you very much disappoint.  You err if you impute to B-cycle the character of an efficient, affordable, or accessible system of public provision of bicycles, and I believe that such a system is of overarching importance in making Denver a better place for bicycling.  Consider that a public system that fielded very many more bicycles, did not require users to have a credit card, and did not cost $80 a year for membership and $65 per day for the use of a bicycle could multiply the number of people in Denver willing to use bicycles to get to their destinations, and that in turn could drive all the specific improvements to intersections and routes being suggested here by multiplying the number of voters willing to support them.


More north-south bike routes in Cap Hill, Congress Park and Park Hill too please.  There's lots of narrow one-way streets cars just fly down and crossing 13/14th and 6/8th at non-signalized intersections can be daunting. 

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault