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Denver is a Top 10 Bike-Friendly City

Denver is movin’ on up in the rankings for two-wheels! People for Bikes recently released its third annual ratings of the best cities for bicycling in the U.S.

Out of 567 cities, (drum roll please) Denver ranked 8th! The Mile High City has shown steady improvement since People for Bikes began its City Ratings program in 2018. Take a look…

2018      Rank 27th out of 480 cities 

2019      Rank 18th out of 511 cities 

2020      Rank 8th out of 567 cities

Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) is delivering a rapid buildout of 125 miles of bike lanes by 2023, making biking a safer and more comfortable commuting option. Denver’s three-pronged approach includes:

  1. Coordinating the striping of bike lanes with street paving operations.
  2. Installing high comfort bike facilities around the city that will serve as the backbones for future, large area bike network buildouts.
  3. A significant buildout of the bike network in the city’s core where population densities are higher to significantly increase the number of Denver households within ¼ mile of a high comfort bikeway (a primary goal of the Denver Moves: Bikes Plan).

Of the 125 miles of bike lanes to be installed by 2023, the majority will be considered high comfort facilities that provide greater separation between people in cars and on bikes, traffic calming measures to slow vehicle speeds along residential roads, and greater connectivity to the places people want to bike.

What are high comfort bikeways? They provide:

  • Dedicated space on the street for people who drive cars and ride bikes
  • Street designs that lower the stress of riding and reduce potential conflicts between bikes and cars
  • A convenient and more viable way for people to get around safely
  • Better connections to the places people want to go, such as schools, parks, trails and transit.

People for Bikes’ city ratings are scored across five key indicators: Ridership (how many people are riding bikes), Safety (how safe is it to ride bikes), Network (how easy is it for people to bike where they want to go), Reach (how well the network serves all parts of the community), and Acceleration (how fast the community is working to improve biking).

Currently, there are total of 206 miles of on-street bike lanes in Denver. When complete, the city’s bike network, as identified in the Denver Moves: Bikes Plan, will consist of nearly 450 miles of bike facilities and every household will be within a quarter mile of a high ease of use facility. 

To learn more about Denver’s bike program, please visit denvergov.org/bikeprogram.

photo of cyclist riding through the intersection of 35th and Lowell in Denver