City Officials and bike partners took the inaugural bicycle ride down the 15th Street Bikeway, a new left-side bike lane on 15th Street between Cleveland Place and Larimer Street. The new bikeway will help organize all modes of traffic along the corridor, with bicyclists using the left lane, motorists in the middle lanes, and buses on the right.
Aside from its placement on the left side of the street, the bikeway also pilots progressive features that are new to Denver, including:
- Green pavement markings to highlight proper positioning for bicyclists, as well as areas of shared space between bicyclists and motorists
- A “bike box” at 15th and Cleveland that gives bicyclists priority at the intersection
- Two “turn queue boxes” that aid bicyclists in making right turns
- Two dedicated bike signals at 15th and Lawrence
As Denver continues to grow so does the demand on the transportation network. The 15th Street Bikeway demonstrates Denver Public Works’ promise to provide for and encourage use of all modes of travel. The 15th Street Bikeway supplies a vital bicycle connection in Denver’s bicycle network. Using the bikeway, bicyclists can now easily access the Cherry Creek trail (by turning left on Larimer Street) or lower downtown by continuing along the right side of 15th Street, along a sharrow facility, after the bikeway ends.
“The 15th Street Bikeway marks an important milestone in Denver,” said Jose Cornejo, Manager of Denver Public Works. “The project further demonstrates our City’s commitment to encouraging use of all modes of transportation and provides a vital connection in Denver’s bicycle network. With the help of our partners at the Downtown Denver Partnership, BikeDenver, and Denver Bike Sharing, Denver Public Works is pro-actively providing multi-modal options citywide.”
15th Street is an urban environment with high traffic volumes during peak periods, and serves several users. Because this is Denver’s first left-hand bike lane it is important for motorists to remember to LOOK LEFT for bicyclists when merging into the left lane to make a left turn off of 15th Street.
Many of the new features being piloted on the 15th Street Bikeway have never been used in Denver. After the bikeway has been utilized by cyclists, motorists, pedestrians and buses, Denver Public Works will evaluate the performance of the features and determine if these applications can be used in other places in the City. The review of the new bikeway will include public input through a very short survey found at www.denvergov.org/bikeprogram. The survey will be available through October 31, 2013.
Phase II of the 15th Street Bikeway project will include an element of vertical separation between the bikeway and the travel lane, scheduled for spring 2014. Installation of all pavement markings on the 15th Street Bikeway were completed by RoadSafe Traffic Systems, a contractor of Denver Public Works.
Below is more information on the new features making their debut in Denver on the 15th Street Bikeway:
Mixing Zone –
Mixing zones are the areas where motorists making left turns and cyclists continuing through the bikeway will merge before the intersection. In the five mixing zones along the corridor, motorists must yield to bicyclists before entering into the mixing zone to make a left turn. Motorists approaching mixing zones are encouraged to LOOK LEFT before entering the shared space. Mixing zones are located at the intersection of 15th Street and Tremont, Glenarm, California, Arapahoe, and Champa Streets.
Green Pavement Markings –
Green pavement markings increase awareness of the presence of bicyclists, particularly in areas of potential turning movements. Green pavement markings define where a vehicle and bicycle share space, such as at a mixing zone or intersection. The markings also provide guidance to bicyclists on where to position themselves across the intersection.
Left Side Buffered Bike Lane –
A designated bike lane on the left side of the roadway is bordered on the right side with a sienna-colored buffer that clearly delineates the bike lane from the travel lane from Cleveland Place to Larimer Street.
Bike Box –
A green bike box is located at 15th Street and Cleveland Place to increase the visibility of cyclists at the intersection. In the bike box, cyclists take their position ahead of cars, to gain priority to move into the intersection when the signal turns green. Drivers must stop behind the green bike box at the white stop line. Both bicyclists and motorists must wait for the traffic signal to turn green, and when it does, they may move through the intersection with caution, with bicycles in the bike box traveling first to enter the left-side bikeway.
Turn Queue Boxes –
Green turn queue boxes help cyclists turn right from the left-side bike lane. The turn queue box positions cyclists ahead of the crosswalk of the intersecting street, facing the intended direction of travel. The cyclist waits for the signal to turn green and then proceeds through the intersection on the right hand side. Turn queue boxes are located at Welton and Lawrence.
Bicycle Signal –
At the intersection of 15th and Lawrence Streets, Public Works has included a bicycle traffic signal. This provides bicycles their own phase to move across the intersection, allowing the diagonal movement to the right-side of the street for bicyclists continuing to travel to lower Downtown.
Detailed information on how to use these features is available at denvergov.org/bikeprogram