#StreetFail: The 15th Street Protected Bike Lane-Slash-Construction Site

Parked construction vehicles block both the regular 15th Street bike lane (right) and its temporary replacement (left) between California and Stout. Photo: David Sachs

When construction projects jut into bike lanes, the city needs to keep those lanes functioning safely. But that isn’t happening on the 15th Street “protected” bike lane between California and Stout, above.

This construction site takes up the whole block. Denver Public Works attempted to keep the bike lane intact by temporarily repurposing a traffic lane. Problem is, the temporary bike lane is also used as a construction staging zone. The design solution doesn’t create a hard barrier between the construction zone and the bike lane, and it looks like no one has told the crew where they’re supposed to put their vehicles.

Bike lane detours around construction sites can be done well — this isn’t rocket science. Below is an example of a protected bike lane that’s been shifted over to make way for construction in Brooklyn:

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The Kent Avenue protected bike lane in Brooklyn. Image: Streetfilms

Note that the staging area, to the left, is sealed off with a sturdy wall. The walkway and bike lane have both been shifted over. The bikeway is nicely set off from the walkway with plastic posts, and there are concrete Jersey barriers between cyclists and motorized traffic. These aren’t just suggestions, they’re design solutions that impose order on the street.