Last summer, the city of Denver, Colorado, converted a lane of traffic on a busy street in its downtown area to a two-way bicycle lane. Considering that the street apparently handles around 32,000 vehicles a day, that conversion was reportedly not too popular with many of the drivers in the city.
Disregarding the pushback at the time, though, the transition has apparently gone quite well — going by recent reports. Additionally, the transition is apparently “a signal of the future of commuting in Denver,” as stated by some of those involved in the city’s public works systems.
As commented by Jon Murray: “As the city grapples with a surging population, intensifying traffic at all hours of the day, and high demand for driving alternatives, public works officials increasingly are dividing up precious pavement, ending the decades of supremacy enjoyed by cars.”
Planetizen provides more: “The pilot project on Broadway provides proof of concept, according to local transportation planners, that reducing traffic lanes doesn’t necessarily slow travel times for cars, while it increases the potential capacity of the road. With evidence of the lane’s success in serving all users (not just ‘auto-driving suburbanites,’ as Ken Schroeppel, an assistant professor in urban planning at the University of Colorado Denver, puts it in the article) in place, the city is preparing to expand the transit and bike lanes on the street.”
It’ll be interesting to see what the pushback ends up being like as Denver officials begin implementing these plans over the coming years. Drivers tend to not like being squeezed into tighter spaces. Though, there is broad support for bicycling and mass transit in many places.
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