#StreetFail: Denver Police Block Bike Lane in Front of City Hall

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Bike riders: Stay to the left, please. Photo: David Sachs

Here’s a #StreetFail that encapsulates one of the key obstacles to safe, bikeable streets in Denver. Drivers park in bike lanes all the time, and the people who are supposed to enforce the law do it too.

This Denver Police Department bus was parked on top of the bike lane directly across the street from City Hall last Thursday. The symbolism runs deep.

At the February press conference announcing the city’s commitment to Vision Zero, the goal of ending traffic deaths, Denver police chief Robert White wagged his fingers at pedestrians. As though the most vulnerable people on the street, not the ones piloting high-speed, multi-ton machines, are the ones responsible for everyone’s safety. (That was after one of his officers ushered me out of the way of a motorcycle cop driving on the sidewalk to the photo op.)

When top police officials and institutional culture don’t get what it takes to make streets safe for walking and biking, this is what you get — cops parked in bike lanes.

Got a picture of something that’s making Denver’s streets better? Worse? Share it on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #SweetStreet or #StreetFail, and we may share it on the blog. You can email me as well.

  • John Riecke

    Just today I rode the Arapahoe and 14th bike lanes through downtown and was forced out three times. Once by a shuttle, once by a Kia, and once by a UPS truck. Two of those were on the protected Arapahoe lane. Something needs to change. @denverdpw

    • Scott Sanderson

      They could just put a bollard at the entrance to the bike lane to keep vehicles out. Just about every time I ride down Arapahoe, there is someone idling in the bike lane.

  • Scott Sanderson

    Vehicles are parked in this spot all the time! Usually owned by the city of Denver. Too bad since this is one of the nicest separated bike lanes I have seen in the US, and it is being used as a parking spot for government employees. Would be nice to have some bollards to keep them out.

  • Joe Linton
  • iBikeCommute

    My favorite DPD interaction was when the officer parked in that bike lane yelled at me for riding my bike in the park.

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