The bike lanes on Washington and Emerson Streets provide direct connectivity between the Louisiana-Pearl LRT Station, West Wash Park neighborhood, and entrances to the Cherry Creek Trail.
The decision to stripe bike lanes on Washington and Emerson Streets was part of a larger initiative to address the West Wash Park Neighborhood Association (WWPNA) desire to calm traffic. Various proposals were discussed between Public Works, Councilman Nevitt, and WWPNA throughout Fall 2009 and ultimately finalized at a neighborhood association meeting.
The result was strong community support for removing the stop lights for 4-way stop signs, reducing the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph, and installing bike lanes. The traffic control and speed limit changes occurred in Spring 2010. Public Works monitors traffic volumes on Washington and Emerson Streets and saw a decrease in volumes after these changes. Public Works then proceeded with design and implementation of the bike lanes. Different cross-section alternatives, all of which met traffic engineering industry standards, were reviewed by Public Works, Council Office, WWPNA, the Mayors Bicycle Advisory Committee.
A final configuration of 18 ' parking + travel lane | 4.5' bike lane | 7.5' parking lane was decided upon for both Emerson and Washington Streets. Research from other cities has showed a narrower parking lane induces people to park closer to the curb, giving bicyclists more operating space within their lane to maneuver.