Eyes on the Street: Progress on the Lawrence Street Transit Island

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People boarding the bus on Lawrence Street will be able to do so without conflicting with bike traffic. Photo: David Sachs

The protected bike lanes on Lawrence and Arapahoe streets are well on their way to completion, and so is an accompanying “transit island” that will help people waiting for the bus and people on bikes get where they need to go safely.

The island, also known as a “floating bus stop,” gives pedestrians a safe haven while waiting for the bus. The RTD stop on Lawrence Street between 15th and 16th (above) will move from the sidewalk to the island, allowing bicyclists to use the lane without getting in the way of people hopping on and off buses. The Department of Public Works finished laying the base on Friday.

When it’s all done, transit riders will have a zebra-striped crosswalk connecting the sidewalk to the island, across the bike lane. Markings alerting bicyclists to yield to pedestrians will be painted in the lane, and 4-foot-long “LOOK!” signs will remind pedestrians to watch for people on bikes before crossing.

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Photo: David Sachs

DPW will install two more transit islands along the Lawrence Street bike lane before it’s complete, with one at 18th and Lawrence already under construction. Denver has a few floating bus stops already, used in conjunction with the 18th Street bike lane:

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An existing floating bus stop along the 18th Street bike lane. Photo: David Sachs

The Lawrence Street protected bike lane and the accompanying transit infrastructure should be finished in the next few weeks, weather permitting.

  • mckillio

    I saw a tweet yesterday from DPW that had this little, amazing nugget in it, “11th Avenue – Installation of Bike Lanes
    There will be periodic lane closures on 11th Avenue from Osage to Ogden Street for installation of new bike lanes. The work is expected to take about a week to complete. When the bike lanes are finished, eastbound 11th Avenue from Delaware to Grant Street will have a new configuration, with eastbound vehicle traffic reduced from two lanes to one lane permanently to make room for people on bikes and achieve broader transportation network improvements.”
    This is huge for Capitol Hill.

    • dave

      Unfortunately there is already a “bike lane ends” sign posted at Logan. I guess somebody decided that they couldn’t spare a lane west of that point. I would have liked to see them make 11th ave one way where it narrows between logan and grant with a contra flow bike lane and then continue the lanes all the way across Speer.

      I am impressed with the focus on connectivity along the lawrence and arapahoe bike lanes. It’s too bad this hasn’t become standard practice yet.

      • mckillio

        Well yes, the ROW is too narrow between Logan and Grant to have bike lanes. The bike lanes should start back up West of Grant.

        I would definitely not want 11th to be one way and I’m not a fan of contra flow bike lanes, I ride relatively fast and they force you to slow down too much when passing.

        • dave

          The logan-grant jog is definitely a challenge, but the “bike lane ends” sign should be a measure of last resort. Replacing the westbound traffic lane or parking lane for one block with a bike lane seems feasible. At the very least, I hope there are large sharrows.

          • mckillio

            There is a bit of parking I believe on the north end of 11th between the alley and Logan. The ideal solution would be for Denver to buy part of the property on the south side of 11th between the alley and Grant (an ugly parking lot) to give the proper amount of space. I agree that they at least need to have sharrows, or better yet dashed bike lanes for that one block stretch.

            I’ve been riding along 11th from Logan to Osage almost every work day for over three years to take the train to work and could not be more excited about this. I wonder if they will remove the bike route along 12th.

            DPW is also supposed to be reworking the intersection around Speer and 11th in the next couple of years, certainly overdue.

            I would like to see 12th cross over the canal so that drivers can turn onto and off of Speer onto 12th rather than essentially forcing them to take 11th, especially if they ditch the 12th ave bike route. This would alleviate drivers and take some traffic off of 11th, making it safer for bikers.

        • A well-designed contraflow lane does not cause anyone to slow. That being said, they probably should just go ahead and close the road completely (except to local traffic) to make a bike boulevard.

          • mckillio

            Eh, if I’m going 15mph and the person in front of me is going 10mph and someone is riding in the opposite direction so that I can’t pass the slower person then I have to slow down. Is there a chance we’re talking about different bike lane configurations?

          • A bikeway that’s only wide enough for single-file riding in each direction isn’t well-designed.

  • dave

    Unfortunately there is already a “bike lane ends” sign posted at Logan. I guess somebody decided they couldn’t spare a lane west of that point. I would have liked to see them make 11th ave one way where it narrows between Logan and Grant with a contra flow bike lane and then continue the lanes all the way across Speer.

    I am impressed how much DPW focused on connectivity along the Lawrence and Arapahoe bike lanes. It’s too bad this hasn’t become standard practice yet.

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