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Bicycle Detection Pilot Project

Through funding from the Denver Regional Council of Governments, Denver Public Works will be installing bicycle detection at seven intersections across Denver. This is a pilot project that will test how well the devices allow people on bikes to change the traffic light to green. The bicycle detection systems are intended to pick up the presence of a bicycle at the traffic light, without a bicyclist relying on another car or pedestrian to trigger the light, or having to dismount their bicycle to push the pedestrian push button.

Bicycle Detection infographic: Prepare to stop when light is red; Position bike over green box; Proceed forward when light changes green

Seven locations were chosen for the project, based on several factors, such as the presence of a bicycle route crossing a road with high vehicle traffic. The Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee also shared feedback that helped determine the locations of high need in the City.

The intersections under study are the following:

  • W 35th Ave and Federal Blvd
  • W 17th Ave and Federal Blvd
  • E 17th Ave and City Park Esplanade
  • Colorado Blvd and Montview St
  • York St and E 23rd Ave
  • Evans Ave and Oneida St
  • E 1st Ave and Gilpin St

When a person on a bike arrives at one of these intersections, they should stop the bike on the green bicycle detection symbol that is painted on the road (there will be a sign to help guide the rider to the right place – if there is a car waiting over the symbol, the rider should wait behind them). The person on the bike will then wait, and once the light turns green, just proceed through the intersection as one normally would.

The City will be conducting a study through the fall of 2015 to understand how well the detection systems operate. Once this study is complete, the City will be prepared to install bicycle detection at other locations in 2016.