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"Pop-Up" Protected Bicycle Lane

 
For 2013's Bike to Work Day, two bicycle safety groups took to the streets to send an important message to the City and County of Denver: Denver needs more protected bike lanes. Before morning rush hour traffic began in downtown Denver, BikeDenver and the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado installed a temporary PBL along Wynkoop St. between 15th and 16th streets - one of Denver's top five bicycle-vehicle crash intersections (Reported in 2012 by Denver Westword).
 
Prior to the PBL's installation, a traffic study was conducted the day before Bike to Work Day at evening peak hour (4pm-6pm) revealing that, of the total number of automobiles counted passing southbound through the intersection (636), a total of 366 cars either drove or parked in the bicycle lane that is currently striped in place. On Bike to Work Day, during the hours the PBL was erect (2am - 11:00 pm) zero cars/delivery trucks drove or parked in the bike lane.
 
Without getting a permit for the installation or approval from the City, the organizations took action in hopes that the demonstration would stimulate a discussion about the need for protected bike lanes. Studies in other cities show that protected bike lanes can provide more than just safety. Protected bike lanes reduced bicycle-vehicle accidents by 90% in Toronto, increased bicycle ridership by 200% in Washington, D.C., and even increased retail sales by 49% in New York City. "BikeDenver is definitely a strong advocate for protected bike lanes," says Ryan McCann, BikeDenver's Policy and Outreach Manager. "We actually helped advocate for a protected bike lane on 15th Street --and we are pleased it will be in place by 2014." (Reported in 2013 by Denver Westword). The City of Denver plans to install its first multi-block protected bike lane along 15th Street over the next year. The installation will be at 15th Street from Cleveland Place to Larimer Street and be completed by spring 2014.
 
Following Bike to Work Day's conclusion, the PBL was removed by the respective organizations who also received some friendly help from the City and County of Denver. The City offered to wash the green paint that was used to further highlight the bicycle lane for FREE but noted that, without permit, any following "pop-up" PBLs can/will incur a fine. The City also re-affirmed its commitment to expand PBLs throughout Denver and indicated that it would be happy to work with BikeDenver on permitting future "pop-up" PBLs.
(Note: While the PBL was in place, the City also made it aware to both groups that they would be held liable if anyone "slipped" and injured themselves on the PBL's green paint).
 
Overall, the "pop-up" PBL along Wynkoop Street proved to be a success as the City & County of Denver was amicable and willing to work with both organizations, re-affirmed its dedication to expand PBLs throughout the City, noted its interest in future "permitted" "pop-up" PBLs, and furthered stimulated PBL discussion throughout Denver. 

Media:

Materials:

  • 15 Traffic Delineators
  • 1 (Wayfinding) Sign,
  • 15 (Encouragement) signs
  • 2 Spray Chalk Cans (15 oz, Orange) & (15 oz, White)
  • 1 Bucket (5 gal.) & 1 Stir Sick
  • 8 Food Coloring (29 ml ea.) (6 Green, 2 Yellow)
  • 14 Corn Starch (16 oz ea.) -Water (2 gal.)
  • 2 Paint Rollers/Pans
  • 1 Banner
  • 30 BikeDenver Logo Stickers
  • 1 Truck (Used eGo CarShare services)

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