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Two years after tragic death, still no changes to bike lanes on S. Marion Pkwy.

Ghost bike for Alexis Bounds
Posted at 4:12 PM, Jul 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-24 19:14:19-04

DENVER -- It's hard to miss the ghost bike, the flowers, and even the Mother's Day cards near the corner of South Marion Parkway and East Bayaud Avenue in Denver.

It's where a truck driver ran over bicyclist Alexis Bounds, a 37-year-old mother of two, before dragging her about 50 feet away.

"It was July 24, 2019, and it was very tragic and shocking to everyone in the neighborhood and across the city," David Chen, a member of Denver Bicycle Lobby, said.

Alexis Bounds
Alexis Bounds and her two sons.

He and others have worked to make the intersection near the accident a place of reflection, a place to never forget the tragedy that occurred exactly two years ago Saturday.

"I just watched over the last two years the people coming and going and certainly the family and the butterflies and the wonderful tribute to her," bicyclist Bonnie Payne said.

Several months before Bounds' death, Denver's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) had discussed several ways to make the bike lanes there safer.

It ultimately decided in the fall of 2019 to move the bike lanes closer to the median. A four-inch curb would protect them.

S. Marion Parkway selected alternative

The project was supposed to be completed by the summer of 2020. The plans were in place before the pandemic.

Still, a year later, there haven't been any changes.

"We have this extremely tragic high-profile death and no sense of urgency from the city on correcting the design flaws on this stretch," Chen said.

DOTI's website shows construction is planned for this year, but there's no specific timeline.

For now, bicyclists traveling through South Marion Parkway can enjoy a bit of safety thanks to DOTI's Shared Streets program.

The program closed the road at the height of the pandemic to traffic so bicyclists, pedestrians and others can safely socially distance outside. It's unclear when the road will reopen to traffic.

But Chen and others won't stop until there's a permanent solution.

Denver7 has reached out to DOTI to find out exactly when the project will be completed this year but hasn't heard back.

The driver who killed Bounds was sentenced to 200 hours of community service.