"Pop-up" protected bike lane shows how concept would be good for Denver, activist says
Last week's Bike to Work Day was a big success, with a large number of Denverites taking to two wheels rather than four. And those who peddled on a LoDo section of Wynkoop were greeted with something new -- a "pop-up" protected bike lane, which created a safety barrier between cars and cyclists.
Big photos below.
The lane was only temporary, and it's now gone. But BikeDenver, one of the organizations behind the notion, would love for such lanes to become a familiar feature downtown -- and one's on the way.
"We're definitely fans of protected bike lanes," says Ryan McCann,BikeDenver's policy and outreach manager. "We actually helped advocate for a protected bike lane on 15th Street -- and we should have one in 2014."
The call for a protected bike lane on 15th Street received plenty of support, including from those who signed a Change.org petition that went live in March, complete with this photo showing a protected bike lane:
That same month, the city agreed to the basic notion of a protected bike lane on 15th Street. Here's a Denver Public Works diagram of the plan, originally shared by Denver Urbanism:
As Denver Urbanism points out, the plan isn't final, so this illustration is subject to change -- and McCann confirms that alterations in Denver's initial approach have already taken place.
"We weren't happy" with the first plans put forward by the city, "and we put our foot down," McCann reveals. "We thought it would be a fully protected bike lane" -- meaning one that used either bollards (the sort of posts typically used to reroute traffic) or more decorative items, like planters, to create a barrier between cyclists and drivers. "And we said we couldn't give our approval for it unless it was. Then we went to city council members and educated them about what protected bike lanes are and presented data showing that other cities have these and made arguments about the economic and safety benefits and the ability to increase ridership, which is something Denver is trying to do -- get more people on bicycles and not using their cars."
Continue for more about protected bike lanes, including more photos.