Debate about safer bike lanes in Denver grows after cyclist struck, killed by vehicle

Data pix.

DENVER -- A debate continues to grow over bike lanes after a cyclist was struck and killed near Denver Country Club Wednesday.

According to the Denver Police Department, the crash happened at the intersection of South Marion Parkway and East Bayaud Avenue.

The driver of the car, David Anton, was allegedly driving roughly 20 mph when he made a right turn and failed to yield to the cyclist, who was riding in a designated bike lane.

Ryan Dillon was nearby during the crash and heard the woman who was riding the bike scream.

"I did what I could. I took my shirt off and I tried to make tourniquets to save her life and unfortunately, it didn’t work," he said.

The woman was taken to a local hospital, but died from her injuries, police said.

Anton was cited for careless driving resulting in death.

Cycling advocates say safer bike lanes are needed.

Amy Kenreich, who rides a bike through the area often, says close calls are common.

"It takes my breath away because this is my biggest fear: not being seen by a motorist," she said.

The city has been considering placing more protected lanes in the area.

"What we see is that when you just have the paint separating bicyclists from vehicles, that’s still not as safe as it can be," said Jill Locantore, the executive director of Walk Denver, which advocates for making the city more walkable.

During the past five years, there have been seven crashes involving vehicles and cyclists in the area.

However, residents previously filed a petition saying additional protections for cyclists are not needed and would violate historical standards.

"What I do think is that [Marion] parkway is probably the safest parkway for biking in Denver," neighbor Patsy Brown said.

Some neighbors do not believe safer bike lanes would have prevented the latest  death.

Whether safer bike lanes will be built in the neighborhood has not yet been decided.

The city is asking for community input on bike lanes. The goal is to build all of them by 2020.

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