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CLOSER LOOK

ARAPAHOE STREET BIKE LANE Demonstration F Interim Design Project Type: Protected Bike Lane Location: Denver, CO Sponsor Organization: Bike Denver Agencies Involved: Denver Public Works, Downtown Denver Partnership

Cyclists enjoy the Arapahoe Street demonstration project (Downtown Denver Partnership).

CONTEXT Today, a protected bike lane runs along Arapahoe Street, a corridor now considered a key part of a plan to create a network of protected bikeways in Downtown Denver. The bike lane began as a oneday demonstration led by BikeDenver and was upgraded to a permanent facility only a year later. The Arapahoe project is one of several recent case studies illustrating how Denver Public Works uses Tactical Urbanism to iterate on street designs from demonstration projects to interim design. The story begins with a guerrilla bike lane on Wynkoop Street in 2013, put in place under cover of darkness by the local bike advocacy group BikeDenver without city permission, just in time for Bike to Work Day. “BikeDenver and our bicycle community were frustrated by the lack of protected bike lanes in Denver. We wanted to educate and show Denver what was possible.” says Ryan McCann, BikeDenver’s former policy and outreach manager. Rather

DESIGN PROCESS than responding with a fine or citation, the city encouraged BikeDenver to continue spearheading demonstration projects in other parts of the city, noting that the organization could work through official channels in the future by obtaining a Street Occupancy Permit. To facilitate that process, Denver Public Works began collaborating regularly with BikeDenver to identify opportunities for annual bike lane demonstrations. The meetings are conducted on an as-needed basis to kick off a large scale study or to gain community buy-in on a concept. Denver will use the meetings for project-specific purposes as well as to support external community organizations. Arapahoe Street, a major downtown corridor with existing bikeways plans in place, emerged as a priority for the following year (2014). The project represented the first official demonstration project created through the new partnership between the city and community members.

On June 25, 2014, BikeDenver worked with the Downtown Denver Partnership, a local business organization, to create a one-day protected bike lane along Arapahoe Street to celebrate Bike to Work Day. Materials included spray chalk, metal planters, portable trees, and traffic cones. A few short months after the demonstration, the Downtown Denver Partnership launched a crowdfunding campaign via ioby’s online platform, which helped raise a significant portion of the money needed for design of an interim protected bike lane. A protected bike facility along Arapahoe was already part of Denver’s bicycle master plan, but the demonstration project built momentum and propelled the city to actually construct the interim design version only a year later (2015). Denver Public Works was able to rapidly implement the longterm project using materials such as paint, flexible delineators, and a few concrete pedestrian islands. PROJECT APPLICATIONS · 109

Tactical Urbanist's Guide to Materials and Design v.1.0  

The only materials and design guidance for Tactical Urbanist demonstration, pilot, and interim design projects. Funded by the James L. Knigh...

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