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Denver Opens Two More Protected Bike Lanes Downtown

American Heart Association Backs City’s Mobility Efforts as Way to Boost Health

 

DENVER, CO – Mayor Michael B. Hancock joined Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks, the Downtown Denver Partnership, Denver Public Works and the American Heart Association in celebrating the completion of two more protected bike lanes downtown that make it easier for people to ride their bikes and reap the health benefits.

The new bike lanes on Arapahoe and Lawrence Streets are each approximately one mile long and use a row of parking to separate bicycle and vehicle traffic. At three intersections, newly-installed concrete platforms, known as “transit islands,” provide people with safe places to get on and off buses.

“These new protected bike lanes exemplify what we set out to achieve in our Strategic Transportation Plan, enhancing connections and providing transportation choices that improve our community’s health and wellbeing,” said Mayor Hancock. “Protected bike lanes are more comfortable and attractive to people of all ages and riding abilities and support active living and healthy lifestyles.”

District 9 Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks, who has been a strong supporter of protected bike lanes in Downtown Denver, points to a recent study that shows installing protected bike lanes leads to a bump in the number of people riding bikes.

“Cities with protected bike lanes experience dramatic increases in ridership along those facilities – an average increase of 75% in the first year alone,” said District 9 Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks. “Our work to make Denver sustainable means moving more people, more efficiently, while building strong and healthy communities throughout our city.”

The bikeways were funded through a public-private partnership between Denver Public Works and the Downtown Denver Partnership. To augment City funding, the Partnership successfully secured contributions from the Gates Family Foundation and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, as well as initiated a crowd-funding campaign that secured $36,085 from 200 individuals and companies, showcasing broad community support for the project.

"6.5 percent of Downtown Denver commuters are riding their bikes to work, and we are confident this number will grow with the addition of two miles of protected bike lanes through the heart of our center city," says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "We are committed to building a bicycle city as part of our long-term strategy to ensure that Downtown remains economically competitive by attracting the next generation workforce and ensuring a safe and connected network of bicycle infrastructure."

Also participating in today’s celebration was the American Heart Association, who is supporting Denver’s efforts to improve mobility as a way to improve heart health and battle the nation’s number one killer — cardiovascular disease.

“The Mayor’s overall mobility plan, including the new bike lanes in Downtown Denver align directly with the American Heart Association’s 2020 Impact Goal to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% while reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20%”, explains Dr. Peter Buttrick, Board President-Elect of the American Heart Association. “The math is simple. The more we move, the healthier we will be. We applaud Mayor Hancock for creating an environment that supports active living and healthy hearts.”

The new protected bike lanes on Lawrence and Arapahoe Streets span from the Auraria Campus to 24th Street and enhances connections between Auraria Campus and adjacent neighborhoods to Downtown. These are the first bike lanes in Denver to be protected with a row of parking, which provides an additional buffer between bicycle and vehicle traffic to enhance safety. Denver installed its first protected bike lane last year on 15th Street downtown. The city now has three miles of protected bike lanes and 124 miles of bike lanes citywide, supporting Denver’s 2020 Sustainability Goals for improving air quality, health and mobility.

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