DENVER (KDVR) — For several years, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has been pushing for a city-wide reform to make roadways safer for cyclists. Because of that, the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure has several projects to creating protected bike lanes or shared lanes underway.
But not everyone is happy about this. Patricia Valdez and her husband have lived along Perry Street in Barnum for over four decades. DOTI proposed creating protected bike lanes along Perry Street which would eliminate all street parking for the people living on this road. Nearby Knox Court already has a neighborhood bikeway.
“If they do that, they have taken away the rights of how many homeowners up and down each block, by taking away their parking,” said Valdez.
Since 2012, there have been 14 crashes involving bicycles in Barnum. That’s 0.5% of Denver’s bicycle crashes, which are 1% of the city’s total crashes.
“For me, the priority is making sure that we are hearing about the direct impact on residents,” said Denver Councilwoman Jamie Torres, who represents the homeowners in Barnum. “If you live along this corridor, it could be devastating for your livelihood.”
Valdez told FOX31 many of her neighbors are elderly, some are even disabled. If protected bike lanes are installed, homeowners would be forced to park on the next street over and walk.
“Once you actually get into it and start looking at the width, the average speeds, how many cars are on the street at any point in time, it becomes a data conversation and I think we just need more of that,” said Torres.
While the decision to create protected bike lanes in Barnum is not final, Denver City Council hopes to get as much feedback from residents as possible to show DOTI how creating protected bike lanes could severely impact their everyday lives. Feedback can be submitted here.
Not all bike lanes are separated from the main road and Torres wants shared lanes to be considered, which wouldn’t separate the shoulder of the road with plastic barriers.
In 2020, there was one person killed while biking and one person killed while riding a scooter in Denver.