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Critiquing the Bike Friendliness of a City with a Reputation for Bike Friendliness

One opinion writer thinks Denver is getting more credit than it deserves as a bike friendly city, but to be fair, a lot of cities have gotten good at overselling their bike friendliness.

October 2, 2017, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Philip Rodgers / Shutterstock

Thierry Backes writes an opinion piece for The Denver Post that pokes holes in the city of Denver's reputation as a bike friendly city.

After noting that several national rankings put Denver near the top of bike-friendly rankings, and the city of Denver's website praises the city as a paradise for bikers, Backes announces the following: "I think it is not. After one month of commuting, I think that Denver is at the very best an OK city to bike in. Biking here feels uncomfortable, annoying even. It can be slow and sometimes downright unsafe."

After listing some of the vital statistics of the Denver bike infrastructure network, Backes also reports that the city has a new Mobility Action Plan that will invest $2 billion over 12 years with the following major goals: "reduce single-occupant vehicle commuters from 73 percent to 50 percent by 2030; increase the percentage of transit commuters to 15 percent; and raise the bike or pedestrian commuters to 15 percent as well." A $937 million general obligation bond, expected to be before voters in November, will include $30 million for bicycle infrastructure.

Still, Backes is skeptical that initiative will be enough to convince motorists that more lane space and signal priorities should be given to bikers, the opinion piece includes plenty of anecdotes to build that case.

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