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

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