Denver building temporary bike lane for test on South Broadway

South Broadway in Denver

South Broadway in Denver

DENVER — Anyone who drives down South Broadway near Alameda knows how congested it is.

And anyone who rides a bike there knows it, too.

Starting Monday, the city of Denver begins construction for a temporary bike lane along a six-block stretch of South Broadway between Bayaud and Virginia streets.

The city will study safety issues and decide whether to make the bike lane permanent.  Right now there are four lanes of through traffic for automobiles.

That will be reduced to three lanes.  The bike lane will be the first lane near the left curb and the parking lane will be adjacent to that.

The city said bikes currently have to ride either on the sidewalk or in a busy traffic lane and that is not safe for anyone.

Spokeswoman Nancy Kuhn said, “We have pedestrians, we have bike riders, cars and transit. What we want to do is better organize this traffic for safety reasons.”

Reaction is mixed.  Some say the bike lane is a great idea.  But others worry it will create more congestion for automobiles and that could hurt businesses.

The initial study is slated to last three months.  If it seems to be working the study will go on through next fall.  Kuhn says if there are not any safety issues, the bike lane could eventually be extended further south and north into downtown.