South Broadway is getting a protected bike lane – at least until next year

CHLOE
(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  bike; bicycle; denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty

Washington Park West and Baker bikers will soon receive a bike lane. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

South Broadway will get a protected double bike lane this month. The lanes will stretch from Bayaud to Virginia avenues.

Construction began Monday, and the lanes should be open from about August 15 to at least November 2017.

The lanes are basically a temporary test. While they’re in place, the city will gather data about traffic and cycling use.

It’s all part of a broader project in South Denver.

The Denver Moves Broadway/Lincoln Corridor Study is an effort by Denver Public Works to make travel easier and safer in the Baker and Washington Park West neighborhoods.

“What we would like to do is organize traffic along this corridor better to give everyone a safe place to be,” Nancy Kuhn with Denver Public Works told 9News.

The city is trying to balance cyclists and cars.

Bikers often use sidewalks to avoid street traffic in high volume neighborhoods, but this practice is illegal and can be dangerous.

A bike lane will give them another option – but it will require some reorganizing, because the street is currently lined with curbside parking. That parking will be moved into the street, allowing for a protected two-way bike lane against the curb.

One of Broadway’s five lanes will have to be repurposed for the project.

But that won’t necessarily be a problem for traffic.

Research conducted for the Denver Moves study found that during rush hour traffic, Lincoln Streets’s four lanes moved about 1,000 more cars per hour than Broadway’s five lanes.

Using that information, they concluded that Broadway could probably handle one fewer lane, the Denver Post reported.

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at caiello@denverite.com or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

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