15th Street Bikeway Update
Denver Public Works is in the final stages of designing an innovative bike facility featuring an enhanced buffered bikeway from Cleveland Place to Larimer Street along 15th Street. Clearly, there are many competing modes of transportation on 15th Street; buses, vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. The design of this new bikeway reflects a progressive approach to balancing all the multi-modal needs of the users along 15th Street while taking into consideration the busy conditions of this corridor. 

The 15th Street bikeway is currently planned to be under construction this summer and to be complete by the end of the season with a target month of August. The project will debut and pilot ground-breaking bicycle infrastructure in Denver, including:
  • A designated bike lane on the left side of the roadway. The bike lane will be marked with a patterned, plastic material that clearly delineates the bike lane from the travel lane.
  • A “bike box” will be installed on Cleveland at 15th Street. This is a designated area in front of the stop bar that allows bicyclists to stage in front of traffic. Once the signal turns green, bicyclists are able to cross in front of traffic, into the designated bike lane. 
  • Green “mixing zone” pavement markings will define where a vehicle and bicycle share space, such as an alley, driveway or turn lane. Due to the nature of 15th Street, there are at least 15 access points where cars and trucks need to access businesses, residences and alleys along 15th from the left side of the road. 
  • A “queue jump” – A signal specific for bicycles allowing them a “head start” to proceed in front of vehicular traffic. This will be installed at 15th and Lawrence and gives bicyclists an opportunity to move from the left side to the right side of 15th Street.
The goal of separating the bike lane from the travel lane using advanced pavement marking material allows us to balance the needs of all transportation modes with important maintenance needs and access to businesses, residences and alleys that would end up “inside” the bike lane. With at least 15 identified points of conflict on this corridor, the placement of vertical barriers would be irregular at best, compromising their effectiveness.

Our immediate goal is to move forward with the construction of this exciting new facility on 15th Street so that bicyclists can use it as soon as possible. Because it is a pilot project, after it is installed we will further evaluate and discuss the elements of the facility. We will remain open to adjustments to the facility after it has been in use and reviewed by users of all modes, as well as the adjacent stakeholders.

Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 (Archive on Wednesday, April 03, 2013)
Posted by Manager  Contributed by Manager