Cyclists to everyone else: Forget scooters. What about cars in bike lanes?

Everyone is in everyone’s way.
2 min. read
Car citations related to bike lanes issued between May 1 and June 20, 2018. (Source: City and County of Denver)

There's been a lot of noise about the Scooter Wars and where electric scooters can and can't be driven, but cyclists want to know: What about the parked cars in bike lanes causing chaos in our Denver streets?

The quick answer: According to Denver Public Works, there were 103 violations for vehicles obstructing bike lanes between May 1 and June 20 — which is a much longer period of time than the Bird and Lime scooters had been out. Lime was first to launch, on May 25, and Denver Public Works ordered both companies to clear the right of way on June 1. (In just that period, Public Works data shared with Denverite includes three related violations — one on Blake Street, one on Glenarm Place and one on Lawrence Street.)

The slightly longer answer: It was difficult to nail down how many citations were actually given for bike lane violations, as they are written as citations in two very broad categories, Sec. 54-459, Obstruction of Traffic, and Sec. 54-482, Violations Generally. After a clarifying conversation with Denver Public Works spokesperson Nancy Kuhn, and the crafty work of a researcher in their department, we were able to narrow it down to citations in which the officers mentioned bike lane issues in their written descriptions.

And with that information in hand, we built a map of the May 1-June 20 violations so you can visualize the areas where these violations took place.

The streets with the most violations were Lawrence Street (32), Arapahoe Street (20), 14th Street (13) and 15th Street (7) — which all have protected bike lanes like the one pictured below.

A protected bike lane on 14th Street. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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