Take a Look at the Protected Bike Lane Coming to 14th Avenue

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The 14th Avenue bike lane will be between 5 and 7 feet wide, depending on the segment, with a 3-foot buffer. Parked cars will separate cyclists from motor vehicle traffic for most of its length. Image: DPW

Denver Public Works has finalized the plan to redesign West 14th Avenue with a parking-protected bike lane between Speer Boulevard and Bannock Street. The half-mile bike lane will be installed next spring, planners said at a public meeting Tuesday.

The project actually calls for the bike lane to extend about 500 feet past Bannock — which is great if you’re going to the art museum or the library right there. But if you’re continuing up 14th, you’ll be thrown back into general traffic. Still, the redesign should make for a safer, more comfortable ride.

Here’s a block-by-block look at the project. (You can also check out the plan in its entirety [PDF].)

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Image: DPW

Speer to Fox: West of Speer Boulevard the project begins with a turn box to help cyclists coming off the sidewalk from the Cherry Creek trail safely enter traffic. At the island between Speer and Galapago Street, tan paint and white plastic bollards will separate bike traffic from cars.

The same paint-and-posts treatment will expand sidewalk space on the island and tighten motor vehicle turns from Speer onto Galapago. Drivers will no longer be allowed to turn right onto 14th from Speer — they’ll have to use Galapago.

Those sharrows are where bikes and buses will conflict because of a bus stop. Public Works said crews will eventually install a transit island, like the ones along Lawrence Street, that allows bike riders to ride through while providing people a safe place to wait for the bus.

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Image: DPW

Fox to Elati: The 14th Avenue lane will look a little different than Denver’s other parking-protected bike lanes on Lawrence and Arapahoe streets. The buffer between the bike lane and the parking lane, for example, will be solid tan instead of white stripes. And while the 14th Avenue lane will include the vertical white sticks you see on Lawrence and Arapahoe to help delineate bike space from general traffic, there won’t be sticks at parking spaces. That will lower the cost of installation and maintenance, according to Public Works, but it also lessens the level of physical protection.

Note the “bicycle forward stop bar” at the intersection. It’s ahead of the stopping point for drivers, so people on bikes will be more visible to drivers about to turn across the path of the bike lane. The lane also has green markings at driveways and intersections, visual cues for drivers to watch out for people on bikes.

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Image: DPW

Elati to Cherokee: The nice thing about this two block stretch? No driveways that interfere with the bike lane.

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Image: DPW

Cherokee to Bannock + 500 Feet: This last segment connects to the bike lanes on Bannock. As mentioned above, it terminates in the middle of 14th Avenue at a traffic light.

A note to readers: Remember, this is 14th Avenue, not to be confused with nearby 14th Street. Public Works will install a protected bike lane on that street later this year.

  • JoDeeWillis

    yes, but why stop at Broadway? This lane does not have a true starting point…beginning at the cherry creek trail, which has no access at this intersection? CONNECTIVITY IS KEY! Good start though…let’s keep pushing DPW!

    • mckillio

      Because Bannock has a bike lane, providing a connection to the 15th street bike lane, 16th bike lane (ish), and the 11th street bike lane.

      • JoDeeWillis

        what if I want to go south, or west?

        • mckillio

          Take the Bannock lane or the 15th or the 11th street lanes. I’m certainly not saying it’s perfect but it does make sense for where it ends. If the Broadway lane gets expanded north then I would hope 14th gets extended to it.

  • Jason

    This is definitely an improvement, but it is absurd that the plastic posts are too big an expense! We need to find a way to make quality bike lanes (curb-separated, with islands for transit and pedestrians) standard and part of the basic street budget.

  • TonesOfLife

    I was hit on my bike two days ago on the existing lane. This new lane would have prevented that accident. Glad too see this progress.

  • Vertigo700

    I use 14th avenue all the time so this is a great improvement. Parking to the right of the bike lane is very problematic as drivers do not pay attention and swerve into the lane right in front of bikes. A lot of them also act like it’s their own loading zone as well. This protected lane will be a big help.