Environment

Cycling: 15th Street Bikeway won't be a trail connecting to nowhere, city says

A proposed bike lane for 15th Street has been a hot topic in the cycling community, with the advocacy organization BikeDenver making its feelings known at a Valentine's Day love-in at which members presented more than 200 I-love-bike-lanes cards to Mayor Michael Hancock's office; see photos below. Meanwhile, the Public Works department is rallying support for its approach by, among other things, reassuring a critic who shared his thoughts in our comments section. "Bike lane on 15th Street: Will it enhance safety or continue to leave cyclists vulnerable?," a Charles Trowbridge post published on February 7, inspired plenty of debate among readers, including the following take by dave_in_baker, which we featured as a February 11 Comment of the Day under the headline "Reader: After Larimer, 15th Street bike lane will leave cyclists to fend for themselves."
Another major concern is that the bike lane only runs from Civic Center to Larimer. 15th street is the only direct route to Lower Highlands, but after Larimer, cyclists will be left to fend for themselves. There is no connection to other bike lanes through Lodo.
Afterward, we received an e-mail response to Dave's concerns from Emily Williams, Public Works' marketing and communications coordinator. She writes:
The 15th Street Bikeway has been designed to connect to several other bike facilities throughout downtown, including the bike lanes on Glenarm, Tremont, Welton, Arapahoe, Lawrence, and with the Cherry Creek Trail at 14th and Larimer. Once the bikeway is installed, cyclists will be able to access Lower Highlands by taking the 15th St. facility to Larimer, heading south on Larimer and to connect with the trail at 14th.
And that's not the only option, Williams adds:
Alternatively, they may transition from the left side bikeway to the right side of 15th street at Lawrence Street, where shared use markings will be provided into lower downtown.
Williams encourages cyclists plotting out routes to take advantage of the Denver Bike Map. Physical copies are available for free at Denver recreation centers, the Denver City Council offices and BikeDenver's HQ, at 1536 Wynkoop Street, Suite 801. As for a downloadable online version, you can get one by clicking here. We've also included a copy after the jump, along with more photos from the BikeDenver Valentine's Day love-in. Continue for the map and more BikeDenver Valentine's Day photos.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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