Denver’s One “Protected” Bicycle Lane?

After my Bike Law blog post last week about protected bike lanes in Vancouver, I was very happy to see a news article announcing Denver’s first “protected” bike lane along 15th St. through the downtown corridor. That excitement was short lived.

Bicycle Accident Lawyer Jason Crawford

Promoted as a separate lane which is “protected” from traffic by white posts, I was a little baffled at how a “collapsible” post painted white and placed every few feet would really do much of anything to protect a cyclist from a car, especially one about to turn left across the designated bike lane. As a Denver bicycle accident lawyer, something tells me we will soon be hearing about accidents in these “protected” bike lanes.

Hopefully, this is the beginning of a local movement within city government to address the valid concerns of commuting cyclists in our downtown corridor. While I applaud our city officials for taking this first step, much more is needed to adequately protect cyclists.

A bike lane design that has a physical barrier between the bike lane and the traffic lane next to it would be much more effective. Even utilizing a different colored paint on the lane to provide further visual cues to motorists that they need to be on the lookout for approaching bikers would go a long way to offering cyclists more protection.

How about traffic direction cues for cyclists as well? The bike lane would be much more useful if this were a dedicated bi-directional bike lane. I fear an inevitable conflict between cyclists traveling in opposite directions.

Until we do have better lanes through the downtown corridor, every cyclist riding through downtown simply has to assume a high degree of risk. Colorado law says that we have every right to be on the road that a motor vehicle does and we should expect to be treated as a valid road user by all other motorists.

The reality is that motorists do not see us as clearly as they can see another oncoming vehicle. We need all of the help we can get and I think it will take much more than collapsible posts to get us there.


Nov 20, 2015

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Distracted biking was the subject of a recent news article, Cities and States Try to Crack Down on Distracted Bicycling. The article’s back-and-forth debate centered on this question: do we need special laws to block cyclists from riding with earbuds or using handheld smartphones? Several cities or states have already banned cyclists’ use of handheld […]

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Look at the above picture. There’s nothing special about it, really – aside from the obvious fact that every ride with your buddies is special. Now take another look. What you’re seeing is two abreast riding, a common practice in nearly every group ride. Currently, North Carolina’s law is silent on riding two abreast, and cyclists across […]

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The unthinkable has happened – during a short bike ride around town your buddy is injured in a bike-car collision. What’s your best course of action? I’ve seen plenty of lists on lawyer sites but rarely are they addressed specifically to cyclists. Bike Law attorney Ann Groninger has handled hundreds of bike accident cases, and […]

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Nov 02, 2015

The “Idaho stop” is not new but it’s in the news again and generating a fresh round of controversy.  What is the Idaho stop and yield? Under a law passed in 1982, Idaho bicyclists can treat a stop sign as a yield sign and a red light as a stop sign, assuming it’s safe to do so. Currently, only […]

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Oct 22, 2015

A taxi driver who fled the scene after striking a Chicago bicyclist from behind in Wicker Park could not escape accountability.  The driver, Tilek Tulemyshev, and the cab company, Best Cab Corp, have paid $300,000 to the injured biker, a 33 year old airline attendant, following a lawsuit filed against them by FK Law. On September […]

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He thought he got away with it. When the driver of an Infiniti SUV struck a Chicago bicyclist earlier this year, fracturing his collar bone, he chose to flee.  What he did not count on was the bicyclist, a 35 year old Chicago pastry chef, having the wherewithal to snap a photo of his license […]

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