Biking on Denver's Streets and Trails

The City of Denver has over 100 miles of multi-use trail, 100 miles of bike lanes, 39 miles of sharrows, and almost 400 miles of signed bike routes. Denver Public Works follows a Complete Streets Policy. This means that DPW shall integrate the practice of promoting safe and convenient access for all users of the transportation network into plans, manuals, rules and regulations, and programs, as appropriate. 

Designated Bicycle Lane

street with bike lane A portion of the roadway designated by striping, pavement markings, and, if used, signage, for the preferential or exclusive use of bicyclists. It carries bicyclists in the same direction as adjacent motor vehicle traffic. Bike lanes must be a minimum of 4 feet wide, but are at least 5 feet in most locations.

Buffered Bike Lane

cyclist in buffered bike lane A buffer zone augments an existing, dedicated bike lane that creates more space between the bike lane and the adjacent vehicle travel lane. The buffer zone is flush with the pavement and is at least 2 feet in width. Buffered bike lanes increase the perceived riding comfort for bicyclists as they increase separation from vehicle traffic and/or parked vehicles.

Protected Bike Lane

Mayor Hancock riding in a protected bike lane on 15th St A dedicated and protected space bike lane at street level, which uses a variety of methods for physical protection from passing traffic. These enhanced facilities improve safety and perceived comfort.

Raised Protected Bike Lane

a raised protected bike lane between traffic lane and sidewalk A dedicated and protected bike lane that is elevated above the street level. These enhanced facilities improve safety and perceived comfort.


shared arrow symbol painted on street

Sharrow is an abbreviated term for a shared lane arrow. Although motorists and cyclists are always expected to share public roadways, sharrows are a pavement marking symbol for use on select designated on-street bike routes.

The sharrow designates where a cyclist should ride to be outside of the adjacent parked cars "door zone." It also serves for bicycle route wayfinding and to provide a visual reminder that motorists and cyclists are to share the road.

Multi-use Trail

cyclists on multi-use trail Multi-use trails are completely separated from motor vehicle traffic. These facilities are used by a diverse set of users representing different travel modes and traveling at different speeds. It is important to stay to the right, obeying traffic control signs and markings on trail. Be courteous and respectful of all trail users.

Signed Route

bicycle route directional sign at intersection

While bikes are allowed on any street, signed routes are streets that have been identified as preferable for bike travel. The reasons for designation as a bicycle route include:

  • continuity between bicycle lanes, trails or other bicycle facilities
  • marking a common route for bicyclists through a high demand corridor
  • directing cyclists to low volume roads or those with a paved shoulder
  • directing cyclists to particular destinations 



Report a Problem

Report Problems Like:

  • Potholes/Sinkholes
  • Ice on paths or trails
  • Debris on the street

Denver 311 Help Center

Call 3-1-1
Outside Denver: Call 720-913-1311
Emergencies: 911
TTY Service: 720-913-8479