DENVER (CBS4) – The city of Denver and Downtown Denver Partnership announced a plan on Tuesday to bring a new protected bike lane to downtown.
The news comes as city’s Transit Oriented Development plan found people are driving at all-time low and biking and attention to bicycle infrastructure is at an all time time high.
City officials say they are trying to encourage the growing trend, while trying to keep the classic mode of transportation uninterrupted.
“We are giving people more options in terms of how they move around,” said Crissy Fanganello, Denver’s director of transportation.
In addition, the Downtown Denver Partnership is putting the finishing touches on its Downtown Denver Commuter Survey. Early findings this year show the number of commuters who bike to work has nearly doubled from last year. That number currently sits at 10 percent of commuters overall.
“There’s more work to be done,” Fanganello said.
On Tuesday CBS4 interviewed Derek Berardi, who says he’s getting along fine as a Denverite without a car.
“When you tell someone you don’t have a car they have a look of shock on their face,” he said. “They wonder how you’re surviving the streets of Denver.”
Berardi lives and works downtown and says it’s actually more convenient for him to rely on biking, mass transit or car share programs like Car2Go.
“All of a sudden you have fifteen different ways of getting around instead of one,” he said.
While it’s difficult to get an exact number on those who are giving up their cars like Berardi, according to the state’s Department of Revenue the city’s population is growing quickly and the number of car registrations has stayed relatively flat compared to previous years.
The Downtown Denver Partnership on Tuesday released these statistics related to biking in the city of Denver:
– The percent of people ages 16-24 with a driver’s license is now at its lowest since 1963
– The number of protected bike lanes across the country have quadrupled in the last year
– The bicycle industry in Colorado brings $1 billion to the state’s economy
– Approximately 8,000 Downtown Denver employees bike to work every day
– The share of Downtown Denver bike commuters has increased by 42 percent since 2013
– Since a protected bike lane was implemented last May in one part of downtown (15th Street), there has been a 40 percent increase in people biking on that street