What’s got two wheels, some pedals and a traffic violation?

staff photo
A biker blows through a four-way stop on 16th Street in City Park West. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  bike; sixteenth street; 16th street; city park west; kevinjbeaty; colorado; denver; denverite;

A biker blows through a four-way stop on 16th Street in City Park West. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Update: Due to duplicate entries in the city’s traffic accident data, Denverite’s bike-involved accident count originally skewed up to 10 incidents above the actual count. The current chart is correct.

Riding in a bike in the summer sure is fun, but it’s also prime ticket issuing season.

In April and May, DPD issued 49 citations to cyclists, according to city data.

Tuesday alone, Denver Police issued 18 stop sign violations to bicycle riders on East 16th Ave. Denver Police Department Lt. Kevin Edling says another officer issued 30 bicycle citations in a single shift.

Edling says more citations have been issued in past three weeks around the downtown area. It’s part of a public enforcement effort that the department started talking about last week.

Traffic violations were about two-thirds of all the violations, though biking on the 16th Street Mall was another big ticketed no-no.

The most common traffic citations are either running a stop sign or a red light, says Edling. And running a red light will really cost you too — that’s a $95 ticket.

Edling emphasizes that the rules that apply to motor vehicles apply to bicycles too. So that means that some bikers get tickets for riding with both headphones in. Lesser offenses like that carry a $30 fine for the most part.

A biker cruises westbound on 16th Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  bike; sixteenth street; 16th street; city park west; kevinjbeaty; colorado; denver; denverite;

A biker cruises westbound on 16th Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

While DPD’s efforts are focused everywhere, Edling says that the number of bicyclists downtown makes it an area of emphasis.

“We try to focus some of our safety aspects in the more congested/challenging areas where we see a lot of the violations occurring,” he said.

Which isn’t totally unreasonable. Traffic accidents involving bicyclists are particularly high downtown, according to police data.

Total_bike-involved_traffic_accidents_since_2011_Count_chartbuilder-c

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“Just in the last four weeks of this summer, it seems like we’ve have some sort of bicycle versus pedestrian or bicycle versus auto at least every other day in the downtown area,” Edling says. “In the majority, it was the bicyclist at fault in the majority of those crashes.”

“They were all preventable if we are exercising good safety habits,” Edling said.