Scenes From the First Day of South Broadway’s Parking-Protected Bike Lane

Ever thought about biking with small children on Broadway before? Photo: Gregory Nieto via Twitter

More than a year in the making, the Broadway protected bike lane opened today, giving people on bikes a safe way to travel — for a half-mile, anyway — down a street referred to as “Denver’s spine” because it’s such a vital north-south connection.

The two-way bikeway runs between Bayaud and Virginia avenues. One lane of car traffic was reclaimed, leaving four lanes for vehicles, including a rush hour bus lane. Now, parked cars on the east side of Broadway buffer people on bikes from general traffic, which speeds by well above the posted limit of 30 mph. Left-turn lanes and bicycle traffic signals were also added.

“The work on Broadway is a really great moment to witness,” said Carina Gaz, a spokesperson for BikeDenver, which has advocated for the bike lane since the organization began about two years ago. “With this study and bikeway installation, we’re seeing the demonstration of our city’s movement toward a more equitable transportation network — dedicating space for cars, transit, bikes, and pedestrians. We believe this project is part of a great pivot for how our city moves people.”

“This investment in an indicator that Denver is getting serious about efforts to build safe, reliable, sustainable, affordable ways to get around town,” said Piep van Heuven, Bicycle Colorado‘s Denver director.

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Unfortunately the Broadway bikeway doesn’t yet connect to any other bike lanes, but Public Works installed signs and street markings to create bike routes to and from the lane where nearby bike lanes don’t already exist. Image: DPW

Today’s bikeway launch was low-key, with no ribbon cutting or fanfare, in part because the project is part of a study and is not necessarily a permanent change. After 15 months, Denver Public Works will evaluate the Broadway bike lane and make a decision about whether to keep or extend it.

The bikeway is just one part of a larger redesign by Denver Public Works, which aims to reorganize the entire Broadway/Lincoln corridor. When all is said and done, bikes, buses, and pedestrians should have higher-quality, safer infrastructure. Today’s “soft launch” of the bike lane is the first step.

Here are some scenes from the first few hours after the Broadway bike lane opened:


Photo: Ben Schumacher via Twitter

To our readers: Streetsblog Denver is taking a vacation. The blog will resume its regular publishing schedule on Monday, August 22. In the meantime, stay up to date with national news and commentary at Streetsblog USA and Streetsblog Network

  • Ben Schumacher

    Just FYI- My name is misspelled next to the bottom photograph. There is no ‘k’ in Schumacher. Cheers!

    • David Sachs

      Sorry Ben, it’s fixed. Thanks again for permission to use the picture.

    • Ben Schumacher

      I know exactly how that name is spelled and have seen it a few times over the past few years. At some point someone thought I was on a list of top B-Cycle riders; I’m assuming it was you. I’m glad Denver’s other Ben Schumacher is also a fan of cycling.

  • John Riecke

    Rode it after work today just because, definitely an interesting and exciting experience. The left lane was all backed up waiting for lights which they didn’t used to have to do. That’s gonna go over well… I definitely appreciated the shadows on Bayaud between Washington and Broadway but they need to be extended to Emerson where the NB bike lane is. Getting the lane across Speer into Cap Hill would be nice too.

    • Walter Crunch

      Car traffic is like cancer. Grows where it’s welcome and dies where it is not.

  • red123

    I’ve never seen so much hoopla over an 8 block bike lane to nowhere. The pace of progress is soooo slow in Denver when compared to other large cities.

    • Walter Crunch

      It has to go slow to get people to buy in and adjust. Otherwise they freak out, and it all gets undone. Just like in Boulder.

      • red123

        That excuse is a crutch. Its like saying we have to test adding another lane to highway to see how it works.

        We don’t do that we just add it.

    • MT

      It is frustrating that we have to go through so much testing and trial. All this work was done 50 years ago in the Netherlands. They have an extensive manual on how to build bike infrastructure, we could just use it.

    • Sanperson

      I can relate to this because it felt like we had to fight for years to get even the smallest safety improvement to a street when I lived in Chicago. But it seems the improvements can gather steam over time, e.g., Chicago installed dutch-style intersections in connection with its new BRT downtown without the usual years of listening to complaints about removal of street parking. Hopefully the same will happen in Denver and we can catch up!

  • Brian Schroder

    Getting to it is a bit of a challenge. The only thing to do is keep riding it and hope it stays and grows.


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