Bike parking at city parks is limited, but the city is willing to listen if Denverites ask for more

“Why do no Denver parks have bicycle racks? If some do, we haven’t noticed them.”
3 min. read
A biker in Cheesman Park. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Have you biked to a park recently and had a tough time finding somewhere to park your bicycle? Well, you’re not alone, and you’re not crazy, there just aren't that many bike spaces. That's what a Denverite reader noticed when he wrote us with this question:

"Why do no Denver parks have bicycle racks? If some do, we haven't noticed them."

Some do (see the map below).

According to Cyndi Karvaski, a Denver Parks and Recreations communication specialist, Denver tries to install bike racks at parks at the rate they are needed, and those decisions take place during the city's planning and design process. City planners will typically use formulas to determine how great the need will be in a park.

Some standard formulas include calculating 10 percent of the vehicle parking as a commensurate number of bike parking slots or using what would be 15 percent or more of a building's occupancy.

Denver bike parking is heavily concentrated in the more highly urbanized areas and Heather Burke-Bellile, a Public Works’ public information specialist, says the city does that because that is where bike parking is most needed.

“Different parts of the city experience different uses -- in commercial areas, like downtown, more people find other ways to get around, such as riding a bike. These types of areas have more demand for short-term bike parking, as many people come and go from restaurants, bars, sports venues, concerts, retail shops, etc.,” said Burke-Bellile.

(Data source: City of Denver)

The city, however, has a funded bike parking program which reviews applications from business and property owners and will install U-racks and on-street bike corrals for free for qualifying applicants. According to Burke-Bellile the average U-rack, plus installation cost about $500 and the on-street corrals costs cost about $2,500 to install in total. She says these efforts are in line with the mayor's mobility action plan which aims to increase the transportation options for Denver residents over the next several years.

Karvaski says the parks also lean on public input to address any additional parking needs and they plan on increasing their outreach campaign as apart of their plans for new capital improvements. They also listen to their maintenance personnel who are in the parks regularly for problem areas regarding insufficient bike parking.

In short, if you find your area in need of more bike parking, reach out to the city through their website or via 311, and hopefully they can address your concerns.

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