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Downtown Denver Rivals Portland for Bicycle Mode Share

While much of the country celebrated on May 18, today is Bike to Work Day in Denver, Colo. — and they sure have plenty to celebrate. More than 14,000 folks are registered for BTWD, but they’re just a small indication of how cycling is skyrocketing in the Mile High City.

Thanks to the efforts of advocates, city officials and new programs, like Denver Bike Sharing, Denver’s urban core has seen a dramatic rise in two-wheeled commuting.

As Bike Denver highlights in a great blog post yesterday, Denver ranks 6th for bicycle commuting among cities with a population of 400,000+, according to the 2010 American Community Survey. And new local data paints an even more impressive picture.

As Bike Denver explains:

The Downtown Denver Partnership’s (DDP) annual commuter survey echoes that growth, reporting commuters in Denver’s urban core are three times as likely to travel by bike. “We are really excited that the bicycle mode share has reached 6.3% in downtown Denver,” Cole Judge, DDP’s Downtown Research Coordinator, reports. “To give some perspective, the bicycle-friendly city of Portland, Ore. has about a 6% bicycle mode share. This means that Downtown Denver is becoming more welcoming for bicycle commuters, offering increased bicycle facilities along with a ‘safety in numbers’ factor of being surrounded by other bicyclists.”

Since 2008 Denver has more than doubled its on-street bike markings and bike parking and launched the nation’s first large-scale bike sharing program. Along with embracing large bike themed events like the city’s first Ciclovia, Denver has recently revised the city bike ordinances, and completed the Denver Moves bicycle and pedestrian plan. Public Works has begun adding new infrastructure components like bicycle lights and separated bike lanes too…

“More people are choosing to bike for convenience or out of a conviction that biking betters our communities,” BikeDenver Executive Director Piep van Heuven said. “The next question facing the city will be: can our infrastructure keep pace with an annual 25% increase in bike trips? Denver needs to continue its commitment to building a safe environment for people who bike.”

Way to go, Bike Denver — and Happy Bike to Work Day to everyone pedaling in the Mile High City!


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