So Denver has a new cycle track. It was build as part of the Better Denver Bond Program. You can read a little bit about the history of the cycle track on the Denver Urbanism blog.
Let’s look at the above picture a moment. Bannock St is one way, heading south. It has been redone with a nice bike lane heading south with the rest of traffic. The cycle track is contra-flow, goes against the rest of traffic. Of interest, is the pedestrian queue at the crosswalk where the cycle track makes that curve.
What do you notice? The cycle track abruptly ends in the opposite direction on a one-way street. There are two problems here:
- There’s no directions for cyclists to go from here. They have have the choice of riding on sidewalks and crosswalks or turning off onto the busy Colfax Avenue.
- Going with number one, it is mostly illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in Denver.
Seeing as both Bannock St and 14th St are one way in the opposite direction of the track, cyclists have little choice but to go one Colfax Ave. Now here’s the thing, there is another cycle track if you want to go East on Colfax. It is however nothing more than a narrow sidewalk for two directions of cycle traffic. Despite the signange prohibiting peds, they’ll still use it. (It doesn’t help a bus stop is right along the track.)
Overall, I applaud the city of Denver for trying something newish. In my opinion, it has a lot of work to do. The cycle track could be a great addition – if it ended in a useful manner and provided cyclists some safe direction to go from there.