Cool, Freeform Bike “Lanes” in Denver, CO


On a recent trip to Denver, CO, to visit Sweetie’s family, I found these freeform bike lanes throughout.  While most of us are used to painted lines on the sides of the streets, these are a refreshing new take on a bike “lane.”

I suspect they actually create more awareness of bikes, putting drivers on more alert since cyclists can act more like free range riders and take the lane as necessary.  Much like traffic circles demand more mental attention from drivers, these markers probably make drivers pay more attention.  Combined with the state’s recent approval of a “3 Feet 2 Pass” measure and the pervasive bike paths, it’s one more reason why Denver’s looking pretty good.

Check the photo after the break to see a broader perspective and you’ll really see what I mean about giving cyclists broad use of the road.  It’s very cool…



APSBiker - 04/14/10 - 8:33am

Yeah, we’ve had them for about a year here in Columbia, MO. They’re called ‘sharrows’.

bikebike - 04/14/10 - 9:11am

We have them too in Calgary AB.

You’ll notice that they are placed outside of the door zone if a car was parked on the right.

One thing that is nice here in Calgary is that the sharrow is usually accompanied by a “share the road” road sign directly to its right.

Kris Thompson - 04/14/10 - 9:18am

I’ve seen the ones in Columbia like on old hwy 63… 1 mile you have a shoulder then the next 300 yards you have a sharrow then back to shoulder then sharrow…. scam. Does the above sharrow make a newbie feel any more comfortable about riding on that road? Now politicians can claim another x miles of cycling infrastructure under their belt.

Andrew - 04/14/10 - 9:19am

Sharrows have been around for a while on the coasts (Seattle and Portland feature them in many areas). They are finally starting to appear in the midwest and mountain regions, as cities start to add more cycing infrastructure. They are nice for local agencies because they don’t require a full re-striping of the roadway (they use less paint!), and they are fairly straightforward for drivers and cyclists alike. Hopefully, we will see more and more of these as regions take a closer look at how to create infrastructure that supports all modes of transportation.

Eric Jensen - 04/14/10 - 1:19pm

Now all we need is motorists to care about the concept in any way. If you want to use these kinds of lanes effectively, you must ride down the middle o’ the road … and even in Boulder, CO that is not real popular. Not a fan. Stripe me a bike lane or not; don’t add more confusion for the “poor” motorist … who never read the driver manual in the first place. If only we could have an IQ test be the crux of a driver license.

Topmounter - 04/14/10 - 4:39pm

Where can I buy these? I’d like to start putting them on every road I ride. Is there a version for gravel?

Nathan Balsdon - 04/15/10 - 1:30am

We have those on a few major streets here in Vancouver as well. We also have a large number of streets that are designated as bike streets with bike logos on all the street signs and cyclist activate buttons for stop lights.

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