DENVER (CBS4) – Denver’s snow plow drivers were busy at work Tuesday, clearing roads for a safer commute. Main and residential streets were in great condition, as were the city’s protected bike lanes.
“I almost took the bus today, but then I decided I’ll just ride. I ride every day,” said John Riecke. Riecke says it’s common for cyclists to ride in the snow, but slick roads are much more dangerous.
“If it’s icy then yes, that’s a problem. If it’s snowy, it’s generally not a problem. If it’s wet that’s fine, too. Just take it easy, keep it in a low gear and be careful,” said Riecke.
Painted bike lanes are often left covered in snow after plows clear the street, forcing more cyclists to ride in traffic.
The City of Denver recently added an additional plow dedicated to clearing snow from its nine miles of protected bike lanes.
“Our plow crews are working hard. They’re working 12 hour shifts and the protected bike lanes are plowed at the same frequency as the main streets. For several years we only had one bike plow. The two that we have now is enough to maintain those nine miles,” explained Heather Burke, Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Crews are also dropping deicer on the protected bike lanes as needed. Burke says cold temperatures overnight could limit the effectiveness of deicer, for both roads and protected bike lanes.
Drivers and cyclists should give themselves extra time for the morning commute and allow for plenty of stopping distance.
DOTI expects to remain on full deployment status with its big plows until at least Wednesday at noon.