Denver Residents Frustrated With New Bike Lanes Installed

Denver Residents Frustrated With New Bike Lanes Installed

Residents in Denver are expressing frustration and concern over the recent installation of bike lanes at Little Cheesman Park. Denver officials have touted the new bike lanes as part of a plan to create a more connected and safe transportation network. However, many neighbors who have experienced the changes firsthand are now urging the city to reconsider the program.

Nicholas Williams, a representative from the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, emphasized that safety is the primary reason for the changes. A Zoom meeting, hosted by newly-installed District 5 Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer, allowed residents to voice their concerns and questions about the new infrastructure, with about 187 questions queued up for the transportation department.

Two months ago, residents near the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Williams Street were surprised to find numerous bike lanes, colored zones, and around 80 bollards installed in their neighborhood. This resulted in a reduced number of parking spaces and confusion among drivers and cyclists. Some changes also cut off two-way traffic, creating difficulties for residents and drivers.

Neighbors complain that the city did not adequately communicate the plans for the bike lanes before the installation began. They argue that the alterations were poorly thought out and have had a negative impact on the character of the neighborhood.

In response to the concerns raised by residents, one neighbor commissioned a study to assess traffic volumes in the area. The study contradicted the city's claims, showing lower vehicle counts than the threshold the city cited as a safety concern.

Residents are questioning the need for such significant changes when there have been no reported injuries or deaths at the intersection before the bike lanes were installed. They believe the new infrastructure has actually created more hazards for both cyclists and drivers.

During the Zoom meeting, Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure's Nicholas Williams rejected the possibility of removing the new features and claimed that the neighborhood association had been involved in the planning process. However, the Seventh Avenue Neighbors Association disputed this claim, saying they were not informed about the changes.

In another neighborhood nearby, residents were able to persuade the city to scale back their plans for bike lanes after voicing their objections. The city agreed to retain a painted bike lane layout rather than physical modifications due to a lack of existing safety issues on Third Avenue.

Overall, residents in Denver's core neighborhoods are concerned that the new bike lanes are causing more problems than they solve and have requested more transparent communication and collaboration with the city in future transportation projects.

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