The city of Denver recently opened new two more bike lanes in the central business district, running along Arapahoe and Lawrence streets, each approximately one-mile long.

The lanes use a row of parking to separate bicycle and vehicle traffic. At three intersections, newly installed concrete platforms, known as “transit islands,” provide people with safe places to get on and off buses.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock joined Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks, the Downtown Denver Partnership, Denver Public Works and the American Heart Association in recently celebrating the completion of the protected bike lanes

“These new protected bike lanes exemplify what we set out to achieve in our Strategic Transportation Plan, enhancing connections and providing transportation choices that improve our community’s health and well-being,” said Hancock. “Protected bike lanes are more comfortable and attractive to people of all ages and riding abilities and support active living and healthy lifestyles.”

The new bike lanes on Lawrence and Arapahoe span from the Auraria Campus to 24th Street and enhance connections between the campus and neighborhoods adjacent to downtown. These are the first bike lanes in Denver to be protected with a row of parking, which enhances safety. Denver installed its first protected bike lane last year on 15th Street.

District 9 Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks, who has been a strong supporter of protected bike lanes downtown, points to a recent study that shows installing protected bike lanes leads to an increase in the number of people riding bikes.

“Cities with protected bike lanes experience dramatic increases in ridership along those facilities—an average increase of 75% in the first year alone,” said Brooks. “Our work to make Denver sustainable means moving more people, more efficiently, while building strong and healthy communities throughout our city.”

The bikeways were funded through a public-private partnership between Denver Public Works and the Downtown Denver Partnership. To augment city funding, the DDP successfully gained contributions from the Gates Family Foundation and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, as well as initiated a crowd-funding campaign that secured $36,085 from 200 individuals and companies.