The American Communities Survey published its commuter mode share estimates for 2010 this morning and the news is great for Denver!

Denver’s bicycle commuter mode share increased to 2.2% in 2010, up from 1.8% in 2009. That’s a 22% increase in one year and is more than 4 times the national average of 0.5%. Since 2005, the percentage of bicycle commuting in Denver has increased by 57.1%, and since 2000 it has increased by 131.6%. Nationally, Denver compares well with other large cities. As shown in the graph below, Denver ranks 6th among the 43 cities with populations over 400,000. Thanks to Andy Duvall, Vice Chair of the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, for putting this graph together (click to enlarge).

Here is a link to the American Communities Survey website:

This impressive increase is due in no small part to the diligent work of Denver’s bicycle advocacy organizations and strong city leadership that has made increasing active transportation a priority for Denver’s Public Works and Community Planning & Development departments. Over the past several years, Public Works has added many miles of bike lanes and facilities to the Denver street grid, making it easier for commuters to make the choice to bicycle to work. Just last week, Larimer street from Downing to Broadway joined an impressive list of downtown streets with marked bike lanes. In addtion to Larimer, new bicycle lanes on Champa, Stout, Bannock, Welton, Glenarm, Washington, Emerson, 16th into the Highlands and 22nd from City Park have made getting into Downtown on bicycle more possible over the past two years.

Last Thursday Larimer Street was converted to two-way traffic with bike lanes in both directions from Downing to Broadway. Go take a ride on this great new facility and see some of the galleries, bars and cafes that are popping up along RINO’s main street.

In addition, the growing strength of bicycle advocacy organizations like BikeDenver, which launched Denver’s first Viva Streets this past August, has helped raise the bar for city officials when it comes to making Denver a great city for walking and bicycling. Another important factor is the launch of Denver B-Cycle, which completed its first season in 2010 and will add more than 20 additional stations to its growing network in 2012.

Left: Denver Bike Share opens its first Season on Earth Day April 2010.

Right: Mayor Hickenlooper announces the opening of Denver’s first pilot Bike Share station at the Webb Building in 2009.


Denver has great momentum at this point, with a solid plan in DenverMoves to continue to improve the city’s bicycle infrastructure. In 2010 we can expect to see many more miles of bicycle facilities added to Denver streets including a cycle track, curb-separated bike lane on 15th Street through Downtown Denver, Denver’s first Bicycle Boulevard, a street prioritized for bicycles in Southwest Denver along Knox Court, and possible bike lanes on 19th and/or 20th Avenues providing needed connectivity between Downtown Denver and the West City Park and Uptown neighborhoods.

Images below represent one potential treatment optoin for a cycle track on 15th Street and an existing cycle track in Boulder.


Still we have a long way to go to reach Denver’s stated goal of 10% bicycle commuting mode share by 2018, so get out and ride your bike and help make Denver the healthiest, most fun urban place to live in America! Oh, and it will give you great legs 🙂