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Old 08-23-09, 11:47 PM   #1
fetad
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Colorado - roads that don't allow bicycles

I spent a week in Colorado this month. I noticed two roads, Speer Blvd in downtown Denver and highway 6 (Idaho Springs to Golden), prohibited bicycle use. I was surprised to see non-interstate/freeway roads prohibit bikes. Are there many roads in the Denver area that prohibit bicycles or did I just happen to run across the few that do? Do you find the paved trail system serves your commuting/errand running needs?

I'm considering moving there next year and am curious how commuters and recreational riders like the area.
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Old 08-24-09, 12:41 PM   #2
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There are very few that ban bicycles. In fact, I-70 is open to bikes outside of Denver except through the tunnel.

Speer Blvd bans bikes because the bike trail parallels it and there is no shoulder. I have been told that the reason for the ban on Rt. 6 in that area is that the tunnels don't have shoulders in them. There is a good alternate route.
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Old 08-24-09, 03:47 PM   #3
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I see. I thought it was funny that the interstate clearly allowed bicycles while a small, parallel highway banned them. I drove on 6 from Idaho Springs to Golden and loved the road. I wouldn't hesitate to ride on it if it didn't prohibit bicycles. There were no shoulders in the tunnels. There may have been a raised curb sidewalk in them. I can't remember.

I don't know the extent of the trail system within the city. From the street, it looked like there was just a sidewalk alongside Speer Blvd. I think the speed limit was only like 35 mph too. Seemed an odd choice, but like I said, I don't know the paved trail system.

I have to stop myself or this will turn into an A & S post.
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Old 08-24-09, 03:54 PM   #4
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That section on Speer parallels the Cherry Creek Trail (very popular and well established MUP, heck, it was first built back in the 1920's er something), so there's no need to ride on it. In fact, once you see the traffic you won't want to.

Denver has a very good trail and road system for bikes, and is quite bike friendly. You should stop yourself more for not sounding like an idiot than worrying about A&S
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Old 08-24-09, 04:23 PM   #5
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The trail along Speer is down below the Blvd, along Cherry Creek. You can't see it from many parts of the road. The section near downtown actually puts pedestrians on one side of the creek and cyclists on the other, so you can cruise fast.
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Old 08-24-09, 07:50 PM   #6
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Old 08-25-09, 04:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fetad View Post
I see. I thought it was funny that the interstate clearly allowed bicycles while a small, parallel highway banned them. I drove on 6 from Idaho Springs to Golden and loved the road. I wouldn't hesitate to ride on it if it didn't prohibit bicycles. There were no shoulders in the tunnels. There may have been a raised curb sidewalk in them. I can't remember.

I don't know the extent of the trail system within the city. From the street, it looked like there was just a sidewalk alongside Speer Blvd. I think the speed limit was only like 35 mph too. Seemed an odd choice, but like I said, I don't know the paved trail system.

I have to stop myself or this will turn into an A & S post.
You are much braver (or dumber than) I am. I used to live in Golden and frequently drove that stretch of highway.......It is NO place for cyclists. As if the tour/gambling buses to Central City/Blackhawk and narrow tunnels weren't enough, you throw the drunken and dissapointed gamblers into the mix, and the road is barely safe for automobile travel. As has been mentioned, bikes are banned because there is an alternate route from Goldent to Idaho Springs. The alternate route is probably twice the distance, but it is a VERY NICE ride none-the-less.
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Old 08-27-09, 12:44 AM   #8
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Love that trail map, where'd you find it?
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Old 08-28-09, 06:09 AM   #9
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Love that trail map, where'd you find it?
Originally on the Sand Creek Greenway web site. It sort of disappeared, but I had saved it and have reposted it on my own web site. I think it is still htere somewhere, but one needs to know the URL. It is getting a bit dated, however.

It is the only map I know that shows trails in a way that one does not get lost in the myriad of side streets, etc. Obviously, it is not meant for exact travel and location, but gives a nice overview.
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Old 08-28-09, 07:49 AM   #10
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Love that trail map, where'd you find it?
DnvrFox's map is good but the DBTC Metro Bicycle Map is far more comprehensive, if you don't already have it. And it's portable

In answer to fetad question, Colorado law allows bicycles to be banned from roads only if there is an alternative route within 400 (and some change) feet. Since Speer has a bike lane down in the creek bed, it meets those requirements. You are also only allowed to ride the shoulder of interstate highways if no alternative is available. You can ride I-70, for example, from Genesee to Evergreen but you can't ride it from Evergreen to Bakersville. There is an alternative route for that part of the highway. You can also ride it from Bakersville to Loveland Pass but not through the tunnel. This is a pretty common practice in the West. Out on the plains there often isn't any alternative route for miles and miles.

US6 is kind of funny, in that there isn't an alternative route but bikes can't use it anyway. There's probably a provision in the law for that particular ban. As far as I know, there aren't any other bicycle bans on Colorado roads like US6...not that people don't keep trying
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