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DENVER — Denver Public Works is moving forward with plans to build protected bike lanes on 23rd Avenue, despite concerns from homeowners in the Jefferson Park neighborhood.

The plan, set to be finalized next year, calls for protected bike lanes to be built on 23rd from Federal Boulevard, crossing over Interstate 25, to the South Platte River Trail.

Cyclists say the area is extremely dangerous due to a steep hill and amount of traffic.

“There’s just a lot going on,” said Kevin Williams. “I think this project will make it safer for everyone.”

Williams rode his bike to a public meeting at the Riverside Church Thursday night and says he had a close call on that ride.

“A driver was anxious to get around the cars turning right and pulled right in front of me into the bike lane and I stopped,” he said. “That just reenforces the need for bike lanes for our safety.”

A handful of people who live in that neighborhood raised concerns at the meeting about the elimination of parking spots.

Public Works says 91 residential parking spaces will be eliminated to create the lanes.

“There’s no parking,” said one resident. “I think it’s asking a lot of our neighbors to lose their parking in front of their homes.”

Public Works is working on bringing back additional spots, including roughly 40 on nearby Bryant Street.

“It may not be a one-for-one replacement but it’s a pretty significant bump to parking that offsets that loss,” said Project Manager Karen Good.

In the end, Good says the city will prioritize safety over parking.

“We really have to think about what’s more important? Providing safe connections or being able to park your car. And a life has got to be more important than the proximity of your parking spot,” she said.

The city expects to be 90% complete with the plan phase by January, with construction beginning later in 2020.

You can find more on the plan here.