DENVER — The city of Denver is urging bicyclists to share their experiences on metro roads, bikeways and trails to help inform where new bikeways are added and existing infrastructure is improved.
The effort, part of the Denver Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI), is an evaluation study tied to Vision Zero, which aims to eliminate traffic-related deaths and serious injuries.
Denver Moves: Bikes Update is the city’s planning strategy that will make updates to Denver’s bike network, which has not been updated since 2015.
Bicyclists can take an online survey to provide personal experiences that contribute to feeling unsafe on their bikes.
Some of these include dangerous situations including unsafe intersections, speeding vehicles, poorly maintained bikeways lanes that have pot holes or are not cleared of snow.
Cyclists can also describe specific areas around Denver that pose a challenge.
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The survey also has an interactive map of existing and proposed bicycle infrastructure around Denver in which bicyclists can add their own comments sharing personal experiences. Riders can also see comments from other bicyclists and agree or disagree with their perspectives.
Kayla Zacharias is a city planner with DOTI who works on the bike and pedestrian team. In a YouTube video demonstrating the survey and map, she said the project kicked off this fall seeking input from Denver bicyclists.
“After this first phase of outreach is complete, the project team will analyze data such as traffic volumes, vehicle speeds and crash history,” said Zacharias. “Alongside feedback from the community to inform changes to the future bike network, the public will be engaged once again when a draft of the new bike network is developed.”
Following the input phase this year, next spring, the city will then recommend a new bike network and will first develop a program to upgrade existing bike infrastructure. “Your feedback will help us understand how the current network is performing, identify missing connections, and highlight critical safety improvements that DOTI could add to its bike network,” said Zacharias.
In the summer of 2024, the city would then perform initial updates and plan upgrades to the network following the initial updates.Helping to understand the city’s vision for bike safety, she added: “Research shows that protected bike lanes, neighborhood bikeways and trails and shared use paths are the safest and most comfortable for most riders. We call these types of bikeways high comfort facilities and prioritize building them where we can when it's possible to do so.”
She said those factors will inform the revised bike network in Denver and input from bicyclists is critical to the city’s process.
Along with the public comment and mapping tool, Denver also is continuing a pilot program collecting smart watch data from cyclists to identify areas causing the most stress.
MPATH is an app that allows bicyclists to opt in to share heart rate data during their rides and is submitted anonymously to the city.
David Mintzer, an avid bicyclist, recently shared with Denver7 reporter Rob Harris why he signed up for MPATH.
“We’ve been telling the city for years where these dangerous streets are, where these dangerous intersections are,” Mintzer said. “Do they really need my heart rate data to confirm that? Maybe. And if it helps the process and helps fix things, I’m all for it.”
The city will also host a kickoff meeting for the community, open to the pubic and via Zoom on Wednesday, November 15 at 5 p.m. until 6 p.m..