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DENVER — A two-way protected bike lane will be expanded on South Broadway, taking away a lane that is currently used by cars.
The city first experimented with the idea in 2015 and is moving forward with plans to make the lane run from 7th Avenue to Center Avenue. The addition would allow cyclists to connect with the Cherry Creek Trail.
"I think this makes it easier for people to get around and also everyone can safely get around," said Heather Burke with Denver Public Works.
In total, the project will cost approximately $13 million, including a $1 million design phase that is set to begin soon.
The design will take anywhere from 12 to 18 months with construction expected to begin in spring or summer of 2020. Bond funds will be used to pay for the construction.
Several businesses along South Broadway expressed skepticism when the bike lanes first went in, and some are still not sold on the idea.
"Just more congestion for the cars and I have always been a proponent of bike lanes when I didn’t have to observe how they really worked or didn’t work. As I say, we see very few people using the bike lanes, very few," said Nina Else, the owner of Broadway Book Mall.
Else says she watches the congestion from her store and customers often complain about parking.
Bike lane proponents say the project is long overdue and will contribute to a safer Broadway for everyone.
"Anytime you can separate cars from bikes from pedestrians it’s a successful recipe," said James Waddell, Executive Director for Bike Denver.