Oct 6, 2022 - News

Denver launches latest bikeway expansion

Illustration of a giant bike wheel in downtown Denver.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Mayor Michael Hancock's ambitious plan to build 125 miles of bike lanes in Denver by 2023 is on track to exceed its goal.

  • The 125 miles should be completed by mid-2023, according to transportation and infrastructure department spokesperson Nancy Kuhn.

Why it matters: Building infrastructure for cyclists improves safety for riders and encourages people to use bikes rather than cars, which are one of the driving forces of climate change.

By the numbers: Since 2018, the city has built 107.1 miles of bikeways, Kuhn said.

  • The city is planning to install 44 new miles of bikeways — 18 count toward the 125 mile goal — in 27 corridors over the next year, with some projects starting later this year.

Threat level: As of Sunday, 68 people had died in traffic collisions on city roads. Denver is on pace to surpass last year's total.

  • City data shows a majority of the deaths involved people in cars.
  • DOTI executive director Adam Phipps said during a budget hearing last week that more than 50% of vehicles on the road in Denver only have one person inside — a percentage the city wants to drastically reduce.

What they're saying: "High-comfort bike lanes are what's going to drive mobility shift in Denver," Phipps said.

  • DOTI spokesperson Vanessa Lacayo told Axios Denver it's "critical" for the city to offer more options to move around the city.
  • The lanes under construction include protected lanes, meaning there is a barrier separating a cyclist from other traffic.

What's next: The city will host a kickoff event on Oct. 10 for the Broadway Multimodal Improvement Project, which is its own separate project but will still contribute to the city’s bikeway expansion.

  • The project will build a two-way protected bikeway on Broadway between 7th Avenue and Center Avenue.
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