Crime

Denver Neighborhoods With the Most Car-Bicycle Accidents

A ghost bike monument, left at a Denver-area location near where a cyclist died.
A ghost bike monument, left at a Denver-area location near where a cyclist died. Photo by Sam Levin
With the weather improving, more and more cyclists will be hitting the streets. Unfortunately, in some instances, cars will also be hitting them. But which neighborhoods have been the setting for the most car-versus-bicycle accidents? Westword's analysis of City of Denver traffic data provides the answers.

Denver has a national reputation as a great biking city
, but in recent years, cycling advocates such as Denver Cruisers founder Brad Evans have acknowledged that it can be scary to ride bikes in the Mile High City given factors such as explosive growth, increasing traffic congestion and incidents of bike rage.

To find out the areas of greatest risk for cyclists, we dug into the facts and figures collected in Denver's open data catalogue, a free online resource. There, visitors will find traffic information dating back to 2012 — and stats for more recent incidents are accessible within a week or two of their occurrence.

We discovered that there were 2,054 reports of accidents involving cars striking bicycles (or vice versa) from the start of the database to April 19 of this year. Over that period, the most crashes of this type by far tended to take place in central Denver neighborhoods, including Capitol Hill, North Capitol Hill, Union Station and Civic Center. But another neighborhood that's easy pedaling distance to downtown topped these areas by a substantial margin.

Count down the top ten below, supplemented by details about the first listed crash in each area and the most recent one. We've also added notes about incidents that involved special circumstances, such as serious bodily injuries or hit-and-runs.

click to enlarge The intersection of Speer and Lincoln. - GOOGLE MAPS
The intersection of Speer and Lincoln.
Google Maps
Number 10: Speer

Number of car-bicycle accidents from 2012 to April 19, 2018: 59

First listed incident:

01/18/12
E SPEER BLVD/N LINCOLN ST
Note: Two bicyclists involved

Most recent incident:

04/04/18
E 5TH AVE/N DOWNING ST

Number 9: City Park West

Number of car-bicycle accidents from 2012 to April 19, 2018: 59

First listed incident:

05/25/12
E 17TH AVE/N GAYLORD ST

Most recent incident:

01/04/18
N LAFAYETTE ST/E COLFAX AVE

Number 8: Highland

Number of car-bicycle accidents from 2012 to April 19, 2018: 63

First listed incident:

09/04/12
W 35TH AVE/N ELIOT ST

Most recent incident:

03/09/18
W 35TH AVE/ N VALLEJO ST

click to enlarge Near the 800 block of West 14th Avenue. - GOOGLE MAPS
Near the 800 block of West 14th Avenue.
Google Maps
Number 7: Lincoln Park

Number of car-bicycle accidents from 2012 to April 19, 2018: 73

First listed incident:

06/04/12
800 BLOCK W 14TH AVE

Most recent incident:

11/02/17
W COLFAX AVE/I25 HWYNB
Note: Serious bodily injury


Number 6: Civic Center

Number of car-bicycle accidents from 2012 to April 19, 2018: 78

First listed incident:

09/19/12
900 BLOCK N ACOMA ST
Note: Hit-and-run

Most recent incident:

04/18/18
W COLFAX AVE/COURT PL
Note: Hit-and-run

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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