DENVER -- Denver’s first two-way bike lane will change how drivers park and where bikers ride along six blocks of South Broadway starting next week.
On Aug. 1, crews will begin blocking off a stretch of road from Bayaud to Virginia Avenues.
“Right now we have bikes using the regular travel lanes,” said Nancy Kuhn, from Denver Public Works. “We have some using the side walk, and we want to give them a safe place to be.”
The lanes will take up space currently used for metered parking along the left side of South Broadway. A barrier will protect bikers from parked cars.
The $100,000 project will remain for three months before city leaders consider keeping the lanes for another year, depending on public input.
“I don't know how they'll deal with the parking situation here,” said Luke Gottlieb, a cyclist, “but I think any safe passage for bikers is a positive.”
But not everyone agrees with the changes.
“It’s simple mathematics,” said Fat Willy, who own’s Fat Willy’s NBS Electronics along South Broadway. “If you’re going to take space for a bike lane you’re going to have to take it away from cars."
Willy is concerned that forcing drivers to park further from his business will keep them from coming.
“I’m having a hard enough time as it is making it,” he said.
However, there are a handful of other businesses in the area that are on board and are working closely with the city to provide input during the trial period.
The lanes are the second phase in the city’s Denver Moves Corridor Study. The first phase involved a temporary pop-up protected bike lane put in on Broadway last year.
However, Nancy Kuhn, from Denver Public Works said after gathering citywide input, they opted to make changes, like maintaining parking spaces along the impacted strip.
Kuhn said the ultimate goal for the project is to provide more safety for bikers and create another option of transportation for people around Denver.
“We want to better organize traffic for safety reasons,” she said.
Denver Police said they have taken reports for 117 bicycle-related crashes since January of this year.
The project should be complete by Aug. 15. and people can provide input regarding the project at www.DenverMovesBroadway.com .