Eyes on the Street: Workers Start 15th St. Bike and Bus Fixes
This morning workers started installing rubber curbs along the 15th Street bikeway downtown to make the street safer.
Protecting the bike lane is the first of several changes coming over the next few weeks, including a dedicated bus lane and pedestrian safety treatments. The street will transform fast to help the city prioritize walking, biking, scooting and transit, especially on the side of downtown closest to the Cherry Creek. The city will install similar changes later this year on 17th Street.
“We think this is fabulous,” said Piep van Heuven of Bicycle Colorado. “These upgrades will make a difference right away.”
On 15th Street, the new rubber curbs will alternate with plastic posts to more clearly separate bicyclists from drivers, which the city says will make the street a better place to bike.
“We’re going to be using these curbs and bollards, a combination, to separate cars and bikes and provide a greater level of protection and comfort,” said Nancy Kuhn, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Works.
Once the city installs street safety upgrades, cars will no longer make left turns by pulling next to the curb and into the bike lane. Instead, plastic posts will form “turning wedges,” a treatment that extends into the intersection, slowing drivers before they enter into the bike lane and crosswalk.
“We’re basically putting some bollards in the intersections so that they slow down drivers when they make a turn,” said Kuhn.
The city will also create a dedicated bus lane, which should accelerate the more than 60 buses per hour that traverse 15th Street during peak periods, according to DPW. The bus lanes will extend roughly 0.7 miles, from Court Place near the Webb Building to Larimer Street.
The city will make similar changes to 17th Street later this year.
The mayor’s 2020 proposed budget calls for a multi-modal redesign on 18th and 19th streets downtown, which will include dedicated bike and transit lanes. Although the funding is expected in next year’s budget, there’s no word on when construction will begin.