Hancock Administration Planning Nine Miles of Unprotected Bike Lane Projects This Year

* These projects could get delayed until 2019 if a nearby stormwater project is not completed before the paving season ends.
* These projects could get delayed until 2019 if a nearby stormwater project is not completed before the paving season ends.

Yesterday we checked in on the progress of protected bike lane expansion in Denver. Creating a network of safe bikeways with physical protection from motor vehicle traffic is the single most important policy to increase bicycling. But under Mayor Michael Hancock, Denver won’t be building much in the way of protected bike lanes in 2018.

What about the lower hanging fruit of striped, unprotected bike lanes?

In 2018 the Hancock administration plans to stripe more miles of painted bike lanes than last year. Still, in the citywide context, we’re not talking about much.

This year’s slate will add about nine miles of painted bike lanes, compared to about six miles last year. Like last year, some projects will be well outside of the city’s core in more suburban areas.

Here’s a map of the seven painted bike lane projects coming in 2018:

Image: Google Maps
Image: Google Maps

The pair of bike lanes on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and 31st Avenue may get built this year or early next year, depending on when a nearby stormwater project is finished, according to a Denver Public Works spokesperson.

Note that a half-mile section of 31st Avenue, between Downing and High streets, will be protected by a row of parked cars. So if it is completed this year — it depends on construction of a nearby stormwater project — it will increase the protected bike lane tally we reported yesterday. While that’s nice to have, the city needs to do more to move the needle so large numbers of people feel comfortable biking on Denver streets. The rest of the MLK/31st project only calls for painted buffers.

A new Ulster Street bike lane in Denver Tech Center will also get the painted buffer treatment.

  • Wranger

    Biking on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and 31st Avenue is completely unsafe with 2 wide lanes of cars zooming by at 40+ MPH with no more protection than a stripe of paint. I avoid these streets completely, opting for quiet 30th or 33rd instead. If the entire thing was protected it would be a great thoroughfare, but until then no one should be biking on these stroads. Why is Denver wasting their time, money and paint on these streets?

  • EMB

    That section of Ulster could be really useful if they give enough space to the bike lane (buffer at least, as with most of the new Tamarac lane from Hampden to Yale.) There’s little enough car traffic on that stretch, even at peak hours, that they could reasonably just use one of the two existing lanes in each direction as an appropriately-sized protected bike lane. The odds of that happening aren’t high, but I think about it every time I’m being followed too closely on that stretch by a driver who can’t be bothered to change lanes properly. That’s a problem when my speed drops from more than 25mph to about 6mph on my way back up the underpass. Not having cars behind me for that will be fantastic.

    (It’s a highway underpass. It’s not scenic, and it’s not in central Denver. But it’s one of very few ways to bike between home and work for me, and I’m glad it’s on the list.)

    • TakeFive

      Isn’t that the ‘roller-coaster’ street underpass?

  • EMB

    That 2.7 mile stretch of Florida has potential, too, with a lot of direct connections to north-south bus routes, housing, shopping, schools, and at least one library. I hope that project involves a good connection between the Cherry Creek Trail and the intersection of Florida and Monaco, or at least a traffic signal that detects people on bicycles (with a bicycle-only signal phase).

  • Vooch

    David,

    powerful use of language – we should adopt

    unprotected bike lane

    protected bike lane

  • Devin Quince

    Well, damn I already feel protected by the paint

  • Daniel

    so nothing west of I25?

  • LOL. I take the lane. Don’t need green paint. Carry on snowflakes. 9 miles. Awesome. That’s like what, 9% of a century?

    • MT

      Maybe everything isn’t about you?

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