Kathleen Lavine | Denver Business Journal
At a city council meeting last March, Denver Council President Albus Brooks said that decreasing reliance on cars is “the area that most of us on City Council agree on — that this is the direction that we want to go.”
Some argue that putting so much effort into this is bad news for cars and will only increase congestion further. Others advocate for it as being a way to provide routes for all modes of transportation and promote exercise and better air quality. For now, it appears city officials are making progress on bikes. A pair of recent reports named the Mile High City among the best in the nation for being bike-friendly.
RewardExpert, an online travel service company, said Denver was the 10th most bike-friendly city for tourists.
The report ranked the U.S.’s 53 largest cities based on 13 metrics, such as biking infrastructure, city profile, bike-sharing availability and biking safety.
“Denver is historically a very bike-friendly city. It scored well across all our dimensions. The city has 267 miles of paved biking paths, which ranks third of all the cities we analyzed,” RewardExpert’s report said.
“Denver’s B-cycle has many stations and bikes in its fleet. Denver ranked fourth in regard to number of bike share stations per capita. Travelers should have no problem biking through the city.”
And late last month, WalkScore.com ranked Denver as the 4th most bike-friendly in the U.S.. Denver received a bike-score of 71, calculated by measuring bike infrastructure (lanes, trails, etc.), hills, destinations and road connectivity, and the number of bike commuters.
Denver also receives relatively high marks for its walkability, a long-time focus of state leaders. In the WalkScore report, it ranked 16th overall, and a recent Thrillist ranking put it 10th in the nation.
Adding to both Denver’s walkability and bicycle-friendliness is something Denver Parks and Recreation is tackling, too. The city will begin improvements to the Washington Park Loop Road with the of goal of making it safer for visitors.
The 2.2-mile road follows the perimeter of the park and is popular for cycling, walking, rollerblading and jogging. Modifications will include a new configuration aimed at addressing major congestion points along the loop
Lane configuration improvements comprised of a two-way pedestrian lane separated by a two-foot painted buffer from two unidirectional lanes that accommodate wheel-based recreation
Crosswalk and car traffic zone improvements with hatched buffers, flexible bollards, green dashed pavement markings, shared lane markings, pavement markings, and painted crosswalks.
Signage improvements and the addition of new lane configuration signs, speed limit signs and vehicular regulatory traffic signs. These signs will be installed in strategic areas throughout the park to ensure maximum opportunity for education and awareness of the rules and regulation along Loop Road and throughout Washington Park.
Construction on the Washington Park loop improvement project will begin June 19 and is slated for completion by the end of July.