By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4)– Delivery trucks, rideshare drivers, and even a port-o-potty have all been spotted inside Denver’s bike lanes. Now advocacy groups are hoping to do something about it.

“As more people have been biking and we’ve seen generally more congestion on the roadways, more people moving to Denver the problem is really bubbling up to the top and that’s that we see a lot of different things in the bike lane and it’s becoming a safety issue,” said Piep van Heuven with Bicycle Colorado.

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Bike Denver and Bicycle Colorado have teamed up to make the website thingsinbikelanesdenver.

It shows more than 150 incidents from throughout the city of bike lanes being blocked to some extent.

Piep van Heuven with Bicycle Colorado (credit: CBS)

“We’re actually asking the public for help,” said van Heuven. “We’re getting 25 to 35 submissions a day. We really need a sustained effort over time.”

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The site is regulated by both Bike Denver and Bicycle Colorado. License plates aren’t made public, and there’s some gatekeeping on what photos are posted. The groups say the website has many purposes, but most of all, is to gain data to take to the City of Denver for improvements.

CBS4’s Jeff Todd interviews James Waddell the Executive Director of Bike Denver (credit: CBS)

“It’s just present the facts to the city and let’s see what the data tells us. And we will find some hot spots there’s no doubt about that,” said James Waddell the Executive Director of Bike Denver.

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There are already some clusters of issues around Union Station and the Webb Building, which houses many city departments.

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Ideally, the data would get the city to increase enforcement and keep bike lanes free and clear for movement, or increase infrastructure for more protected lanes.

(credit: CBS)

“There are 12,000 people who live within five miles of downtown Denver who drive alone into downtown Denver. And we know that’s a pretty bike-able distance. Let’s make it safer for people riding that distance,” Waddell said.

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

Comments (8)
  1. I am so glad that this project launched, and I’ve sent a ton of pictures in already! Every time I have to move in to traffic on my bike is a time that I’m putting myself at risk. I ride my bike almost everywhere because it’s a lot cheaper than driving (and in case you haven’t noticed, living here is getting really expensive!), I get exercise without going to the gym, and it’s a small way I can have a smaller environmental footprint. For all those reasons, we should be making it easier for more people to do!

    By the way, I pay more than my fair share of taxes for roads. Considering how much of our roads are paid for by the state’s general fund (and not the gas tax, which hasn’t been raised since I was a toddler), and how little of an impact I have on our pavement on a bike, I’m paying a lot compared to someone who drives everywhere. And to all the people who drive who are complaining about me riding a bike–when I choose to bike instead of drive, I’m making your traffic better! You want me on a bike.

  2. I’m really glad to see this being studied!! The data will show us all where we need to add loading spaces (e.g. Wynkoop) for the ridesharing and deliveries.
    Remember, the person who’s riding a bike is someone who isn’t dragging around an entire car in front you!

  3. Evan Brigham says:

    I’m so happy that we have City staff and non-profit organizations who take this important issue seriously. Vehicles not respecting the bike lane is my #1 concern while riding! People opening doors into bike lanes is also a huge concern! Thanks to everyone who is fighting for this cause!

  4. Margo Dykiel says:

    Why do cyclists always ride right on the white line of the bike lane on their left closest to traffic? I would think they would ride in the middle or to the right so as not to be knocked off their bikes by a cars rear view mirror.

    1. I ride on the left line because people opening car doors on the right side without looking are more likely to hit me than a car in the travel lane. Also, some lanes are in or near the gutters and are dirty, have glass, or have lots of potholes and other holes.

    2. I ride my bike closer to the traffic than to the gutter so that cars that are turning onto the street will see me earlier and so that cars passing me from behind see me from farther away. It also leave me room to dodge if I need — sort of the same way that cars can swerve into a left lane for a second if there’s an obstacle in their path. If I ride in the gutter, I don’t have room to react to normal anomalies in my commute.

  5. Cyclists need to use rear-view mirrors, and move into the traffic lane . Temporary blockages or bike lanes are inevitable . Cyclist will be willing to pay road use taxes when the road-rage stops.

  6. Gas taxes don’t cover roads….compared to the wear and tear produced by bicyclists, most of us pay more than our share….additionally, most cyclists also drive and pay registration fees for cars.

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