Denver is adding e-bikes to city streets faster than it is building infrastructure for them

admin

Denver is making progress on its bike infrastructure goals. But […]

Denver is making progress on its bike infrastructure goals.

But the exploding popularity of e-bikes particularly in a city that is putting up as much as $1,700 per purchase so more residents can afford them, raises a question: Is Denver building the right kind of infrastructure to serve a varied group of bike users, some using pedal power and others riding with a motor capable of propelling them at up to 28 mph?

Not really, members of the city’s biking community say.

“Our street system is just not keeping up with the demand of how people want to be using it,” said Jill Locantore, the executive director of the Denver Streets Partnership, an organization focused on making Denver less car-dependent.

With top speeds that well exceed what an average bike rider can do, the potential for conflict between e-bikers and riders on pedal-powered bikes abounds.  One problem with e-bikes is that they have no room to pass slower travelers on many of the city’s existing bike lanes because so much street space is dedicated to cars, Locantore said.

“We really have just seen a sea change about how people want to move around Denver and how people are moving around Denver,” she said. “The city should seize that and quickly update our streets but also remain flexible. We can’t build infrastructure like it’s going to be exactly the same for the next 50 years.”

Thousands of new e-bikes, miles of new bike lanes

The city has made headline-grabbing progress in getting more residents on e-bikes this year even as a federal effort to do the same crashed in the Senate. As of Oct. 10, the city’s climate action office had provided instant rebates on the purchases of 4,156 e-bikes and their more payload-focused cousins e-cargo bikes. Rebate funding that was supposed to be disbursed over three years may now have to be replenished after just one, city officials say.

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 6 : Bicycle mechanic Stephanie Fowler assembles the electric Bike at Campus Cycles in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday, September 9, 2022. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)
Bicycle mechanic Stephanie Fowler assembles an electric Bike at Campus Cycles in Denver on Tuesday, September 9, 2022. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

Next Post

Do you know your OXZs? These essential motorcycle chain maintenance tips will save you thousands

A chain tensioner on a motorcycle. Most motorcycles produce […]