#StreetFail: The 46th Avenue “Bike Lane” Is Actually a Parking Lane

On the city's bike map, 46th Avenue has bike lanes, but it in real life, it doesn't. Photo: David Sachs
On the city's bike map, 46th Avenue has bike lanes, but it in real life, it doesn't. Photo: David Sachs

Drivers parking in bike lanes are a chronic problem in Denver. Even bike lanes that are supposed to be physically separated from traffic haven’t been designed well enough to keep parked cars out. But this “bike lane” takes the cake. It was literally designed for cars to park in.

This street design is on a mile-long stretch of 46th Avenue in Berkeley. It’s on Denver Public Works’ official map of bike lanes (and it’s part of the D2 regional bike route), but it shouldn’t qualify as a bike lane, because it’s a parking lane.

On the north side of the street drivers can park in the bike lane any time, except for once a month during the summer when street sweepers come through. On the south side of the street, people can park in the bike lane except on weekends and holidays.

Apparently, DPW expected people riding bikes to weave into the traffic lane as they encounter parked cars. Expecting bicyclists to swerve in and out of car traffic is not only dangerous, it’s hypocritical. DPW tells people to “ride in a straight line” and “always stay within a single lane” on its “Rules of the Road” website.

The two-way street is in a residential neighborhood with lots of driveways and has a posted speed limit of 30 mph (except for a portion in a 20 mph school zone). One section of the bike lane runs along Rocky Mountain Lake Park, which has three parking lots.

No modern street design manual recommends that bike lanes share space with parked cars. It’s not a thing, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials manual, to which Denver purportedly subscribes.

The design appears to be a relic from a much earlier, less enlightened era at DPW, but it was actually installed in 2012, according to the department. Almost any other treatment you could think of would be safer.

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.


Friday’s Headlines

A Driver Ran a Red Light and Hit a RTD Bus, Causing Injuries to Those On Board (DenPo) Colorado Air Quality Control Commission is Voting on Vehicle Emission Standards Today (DenPo) Another Driver Hit and Injured a Person Biking This Morning in Colorado Springs (Gazette) Fort Collins is Debating Bringing E-Scooters into Their Town, Polling […]

Thursday’s Headlines

Reasons Why Denver’s Sidewalks Suck (Denverite) DIA Was Just Ranked the Best Large Airport in the Nation (DenPo) Disability-Rights Group is in Town for Their Annual National Meeting, Advocating For More Accessibility on Public Transportation (Westword) Uber Launched Three New Pilot Programs in Denver, Because We’re “Open to New Transit Options” (Denverite) Slowly, But Surely, […]

Wednesday’s Headlines

A-Line to DIA Will Be Closed For a Full 24 Hours This Weekend (DenPo) City Council Passed the Budget for 2019 Which Includes Funding for Things Like… Transportation! (Denverite) Why Amazon Didn’t Chose Denver For its Headquarters, and No, It Wasn’t Because of Our Traffic (Fox31) More Cities Are Adding Vail to Their Flight Lists […]