Category: "Carfree"

Cyclist Safety: Bike Lanes Help; Parking Hurts; Multiuse Paths Will Be The Death of Me Yet

November 14th, 2012


Magnify the image

Data from Teschke et al., Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists, Table 4, descriptions modified, *P less than .05

The Atlantic's Cities blog has a decent summary of a recent paper aimed at determining the impact of various kinds of cycling infrastructure on injury rates. Among the study's conclusion is that bike lanes significantly reduce the rate at which cyclists are injured.

Terminology & Denver's Paths

At the outset, I should note that study's terminology doesn't match up well with how we in Denver refer to things. According to the study's definitions, the Cherry Creek and Platte Greenways are "multiuse" paths ("meant for nonmotorized use by pedestrians, cyclists, skaters and others, either alongside city streets or away from city streets") not "bike paths."

I'm not sure how the study would classify Denver's designated sidewalk/bike routes. Those monstrosities fit both the definitions of sidewalk ("paved path meant for pedestrian use, either alongside city streets or away from streets") and multiuse path. (As far as I know, we don't have any "bicycle-only paths" in Denver.)

Multi-Use Paths Are (Relatively) Unsafe

The study's results are interesting for several reasons. First, in terms of safety, multi-use paths are less safe than everything except sidewalks and major streets with parked cars and no bike infrastructure.

That probably surprises a lot of planners. Multi-use paths are assumed to be the safest place for cyclists to be.

If the results apply to Denver, Denver has built (and designated) a lot of infrastructure that is less safe to use than simply riding on a major street that doesn't have parking. In particular, where Denver has designated sidewalks as bikeways it has created conditions that are about as unsafe as they can be for cycling.

Parking Poses Problems

Another interesting thing is just how much difference street parking makes. Eliminating parking makes even major streets safer than adding a bike lane or sharrows would. (The risk for major streets with no parking and no infrastructure are not statistically significant.)

If cyclist safety is an issue, planners should consider removing parking before considering adding cycling infrastructure. (Anyone who has worked on these issues in Denver knows that's wishful thinking. A bike planner once told me -- sarcastically -- that City Council, given a choice between a few dead cyclists and the calls triggered by eliminating a few parking places, would choose dead cyclists every time. He might have been sarcastic, but I think he was right.)

What's Hurting Us

Finally, how cyclists were injured surprised me. Only about a third of cyclist injuries were caused by collisions with motor vehicles. About a quarter were caused by collisions with things like train tracks, potholes, or rocks. Collisions with animals, other cyclists, and pedestrians accounted for only about 7% of the injuries. Looks as if keeping streets maintained on bike routes would help a great deal. Drivers would appreciate it, too.

Full story »

Dressing For The First Cold Day

November 9th, 2012


Magnify the image

Yehuda Moon by Rick Smith and Brian Griggs

Yehuda is great.

Around our house use the "Parking Lot Rule": If you are warm in the parking lot, you are going to be way too hot.

Don't Want A Speeding Ticket? Try Obeying The Speed Limit.

November 5th, 2012


When I say this to those who complain (including Gerty!), I am treated like a lobotomized flatworm. (Apparently everyone except me knows that speeding is a basic human right.)

From a Washington Post editorial:

HERE’S AN IDEA for motorists who complain about having to pay the fines assessed by the District’s traffic cameras: Obey the laws. Driving the speed limit, stopping at red lights and not making prohibited right turns on red are the best defense against getting a ticket.

Now we need turn signal cameras . . . .

B-Cycle Free For 30 Days For University of Denver

October 31st, 2012


Magnify the image

If you have a University of Denver email address (or access to one), Denver's B-Cycle wants to give you a free 30-day membership.

To redeem your membership, please follow these steps:
  1. Go to and click “Join Denver B-Cycle”
  2. Fill out the profile form, being sure to use your “” email address, select 30-day and enter DUTHRV12 (all caps) in the promotion code section. This will make your final payment $0.00.
  3. The credit card you provide will give you access to your pass/membership and pay usage fees should you accrue them.
  4. Use your credit card to access the system at any Denver B-cycle kiosk. Just select “No” when you are asked if you want to purchase access at the kiosk and then follow the on-screen directions. Your membership will begin when you first check out a bike.
  5. Code must be registered by Nov. 17, 2012.
Use fees still apply (free for 30 minutes; $1 for the first hour), but those can be avoided entirely with a bit of planning -- just check the bike into a station and check it out again. Time for a ride to The Denver Bicycle Cafe.

Sweet Bike Lane

November 2nd, 2011

Harper's Magazine

August 21st, 2011


Magnify the image

From Harper's.

I love Harper's. Don't always agree, but the essays often compel me to consider alternate ways of looking at the world. Cheap, too.

Volunteer For Clothing And Beer

August 20th, 2011

Denver B-cycle needs your help!

Volunteer and get a 2011 t-shirt!

August 28th & September 10th

We are looking for enthusiastic members of the Denver B-Cycle community who are willing to serve as B-cycle ambassadors for two major cycling events coming up in the city of Denver. Your job will entail helping us successfully operate two fundraising components to these events. For the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, we will be operating a donation based bike valet near the finish line of the final stage of the race. For Tour de Fat, we will be operating a temporary B-cycle station and informing participants about a special fundraising effort that will be taking place that day through Chipotle.

All volunteers will be given a brand new 2011 Denver B-cycle t-shirt for their efforts and one B-cycle Buddy Pass good for a free 24 hour Access Pass to share with your friends and family. Those volunteering for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will receive a USA Pro Cycling Challenge shirt as well. Those volunteering for Tour de Fat (who are 21 and over) will receive two free beer tokens for contributing their time and talent. To sign up just reply to this email and let us know which shift (or shifts) you would like to work and what size t-shirt you wear (we have men's & women's sizes)!

Volunteer shifts needed:

USA Pro Cycling Challenge Final Stage, August 28th, 14th & Colfax (Webb Building Station).

3 Volunteers: 7:30 AM - 10:30 PM

6 Volunteers: 10:30 PM - 1:30 PM

6 Volunteers: 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

New Belgium's Tour de Fat, September 10th, City Park.

4 Volunteers: 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

4 Volunteers: 12:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Thank you so much! We hope to see you all soon!

Salt Lake City Pedestrian Precautions

July 15th, 2011

Magnify the image

This is for real. In downtown Salt Lake, near Squatters. There were flags available on either side of the crosswalk.

If a pedestrian is hit in a crosswalk without a flag, is it the pedestrian's fault?