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Old 05-21-09, 08:29 AM   #1
hosehead
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Denver Metro Question

Hello all -
I'll be moving to the Denver metro area soon (working downtown) and was wondering if any of you have any recommendations of bike/transit friendly areas that also have good public schools. I went to high school in Arvada but it's been a while. I really don't know the area very well except for Arvada, and even that is fuzzy because the city has grown so much since I lived there.

On paper the Littleton/Columbine Valley area looks great because light rail runs down Santa Fe, there is a bike trail that runs along the Platte that connects to Denver, and the schools in that area have high test scores.

I don't know how much people use these trails though, how well they're maintained or plowed, if drivers down there tolerate bikes on the road, and if local amenities like restaurants and grocery stores are set up to accommodate bikes (i.e. decent bike racks with room for a trailer). Would people look at me funny if I walked in to a Safeway carrying a helmet and reusable grocery bags or is it a bastion of SUVs and conspicuous consumption?

Do any of you have any other suggestions? I thought the DTC area/Cherry Creek schools might be good too.
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Old 05-21-09, 10:00 PM   #2
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When you get here for househunting stop at a REI, Bicycle Village or a LBS and buy a copy
of the Denver (DBTC) Biking Map. It sure helped me a lot during my househunting 5 yrs ago.

With very minor exceptions all trails are plowed and used year round.
Most are in good shape one of the worse c470 is getting stimulas $ for repair this summer.
No problem going into a store in bike gear.


Denver, Lakewood and Arvada have bike friendly bronze awards Bike to work day has over 30,000 bicyclists
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Old 05-22-09, 05:56 AM   #3
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I think you're probably on the right track (literally) considering the Littleton/Columbine area. Light rail or the Platte Trail are 2 stellar options for commuting. The only drawback, if any, is that the bike ride from the area can approach 20+ miles each way depending on where you live. For some, that is too far.

There really aren't a lot of path options into downtown. Platte (from north or south) or Cherry Creek from the east/southeast. Every other direction is via roads.
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Old 05-22-09, 09:04 AM   #4
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Thanks for the good info - I will stop in at a bike shop next time I'm down there and pick up one of those maps. I don't think that a ride that's 20 miles in to work is too bad, especially along an MUP that's probably pretty flat. It's probably still faster and less stressful than sitting in traffic.

Cheers
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Old 05-23-09, 08:12 PM   #5
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Yeah... Platte River trail is pretty flat. Runs along the river all the way.

I used to live way out west near Green Mountain (Almost to Golden) and there's a pretty easy route from there, as well... it's all on the roads, but they're all pretty lightly traveled... never really had any issues.

Personally I like the neighborhoods a little closer in... but I don't know what the schools are like.

Baker neighborhood is good, as is Athmar Park, Platte Park/DU area, Wash. Park, etc.
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Old 05-26-09, 10:06 AM   #6
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There are great bike paths all over. The Platte river trail is great because it will connect you to many other bike paths and great road rides. Helmets are definitely acceptable in Safeways, heck I see folks full clad in team kits. Littleton is fine. Schools are okay. I live in Sunnyside, and I tell everyone they should strongly consider Berkeley, Sunnyside, Potter and Tennyson nieghborhoods as they are very nice, safe and you have a lot of diversity.
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Old 05-27-09, 05:31 PM   #7
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There are great bike paths all over. The Platte river trail is great because it will connect you to many other bike paths and great road rides. Helmets are definitely acceptable in Safeways, heck I see folks full clad in team kits. Littleton is fine. Schools are okay. I live in Sunnyside, and I tell everyone they should strongly consider Berkeley, Sunnyside, Potter and Tennyson nieghborhoods as they are very nice, safe and you have a lot of diversity.
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Old 05-28-09, 11:51 AM   #8
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You didn't mention the age of your kids but if they are elementary age I'd strongly recommend Congress Park or City Park South neighborhoods and they can attend Teller Elementary, which is fabulous! You'll be just a few mins from downtown via bike, bus or driving.

Also a good thing to keep in mind is that DPS has a school of choice system so you can "choice in" to schools outside your neighborhood. The choice rounds are done now and the best schools will be full though.

Greatschools.net is a good resource to get a full picture of school quality. I reports on test scores but goes far above and beyond looking at retention rates, absence rates, parent satisfaction, teacher education level, etc.
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Old 05-28-09, 12:10 PM   #9
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Denver city bike maps, (the two links):

http://www.denvergov.org/Bicycle_Pro...9/Default.aspx

CO state maps:

http://www.dot.state.co.us/BikePed/maps.htm
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Old 06-03-09, 04:32 PM   #10
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You didn't mention the age of your kids but if they are elementary age I'd strongly recommend Congress Park or City Park South neighborhoods and they can attend Teller Elementary, which is fabulous! You'll be just a few mins from downtown via bike, bus or driving.

Also a good thing to keep in mind is that DPS has a school of choice system so you can "choice in" to schools outside your neighborhood. The choice rounds are done now and the best schools will be full though.

Greatschools.net is a good resource to get a full picture of school quality. I reports on test scores but goes far above and beyond looking at retention rates, absence rates, parent satisfaction, teacher education level, etc.
That's actually a really good suggestion. I like that neighborhood, I like the school, and certain members of my family would love that it's right by the zoo. It looks very young and vibrant. My little one is still in the Chariot (trailer) stage though. I don't have a problem riding my bike around in downtown traffic at any time, but when I'm towing someone I tend to be a bit more conservative. Do you have any feeling on how cars are in this neighborhood? Would you feel comfortable towing your child on these roads? (The neighborhood streets - I'm not talking about Colfax)

Thanks again - I really appreciate this information.
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Old 06-03-09, 05:14 PM   #11
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Littleton is a nice area, and aging. Lots of retirement folks there. Schools are good and relatively conservative, if that is what you want. Pretty neighborhoods, good park and rec district.

Here is a general map of the Denver Bike Paths. Nothing specific, but it gives you a good idea.

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Old 06-20-09, 05:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by hosehead View Post
That's actually a really good suggestion. I like that neighborhood, I like the school, and certain members of my family would love that it's right by the zoo. It looks very young and vibrant. My little one is still in the Chariot (trailer) stage though. I don't have a problem riding my bike around in downtown traffic at any time, but when I'm towing someone I tend to be a bit more conservative. Do you have any feeling on how cars are in this neighborhood? Would you feel comfortable towing your child on these roads? (The neighborhood streets - I'm not talking about Colfax)

Thanks again - I really appreciate this information.
Like to begin by saying I have no kids nor have I ever towed one around however I would like to make a quick comment on this subject as I live in Capitol Hill and ride around these neighborhoods. I would have no problem riding/towing east of Cheeseman Park on most of the roads- however I would be a bit more selective riding west of the park in places with a trailer but thats just me and my own personal comfort level.
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Old 06-22-09, 10:13 PM   #13
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That's actually a really good suggestion. I like that neighborhood, I like the school, and certain members of my family would love that it's right by the zoo. It looks very young and vibrant. My little one is still in the Chariot (trailer) stage though. I don't have a problem riding my bike around in downtown traffic at any time, but when I'm towing someone I tend to be a bit more conservative. Do you have any feeling on how cars are in this neighborhood? Would you feel comfortable towing your child on these roads? (The neighborhood streets - I'm not talking about Colfax)

Thanks again - I really appreciate this information.
Very bike friendly on the side streets and there's a good deal of bike traffic all around so folks in cars are used to giving bikes room. We bike from Park Hill to Teller during the school year with one on his own bike and one on the tag-a-long with me. The only tricky crossing is 17th on the south side of the park. We just go a few blocks out of our way, minor really, to get to a less busy crossing and it's all good.
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Old 06-28-09, 08:53 AM   #14
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That's great info - thank you all. My wife and I went down there to poke around and really like that neighborhood. It's expensive, so we'll see.
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Old 06-29-09, 06:40 PM   #15
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There is a nice map published of Denver area biking trails. When you get to the area you should be able to find it in a book store or REI. There are many trails in the area as well as bike lanes on streets. This map will give you the lay of the land. It is a reasonably bike friendly area.
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