I ride a bicycle to work every day. I love riding bikes, I have a mountain bike and a road bike, I ride every day and try to ride for fun on most weekends.
I've ridden my mountain bike in Moab, Utah, Fruita, Colorado, Winter Park anbd Crested Butte, Colorado, most all of the Colorado front range trails, in Mississippi, in Minnesota, Nevada, etc...I've fallen off my bike a number of times. I've been a bit hesitant about some rides, been damn scared on a few of them.
but nothing, absolutely NOTHING on a bicycle is scarier than riding to work in the mornings.
Denver is easily one of the most bike friendly cities in the US, there's so much to do on a bike here, and yet there isn't a single east-bound bike lane in the Downtown Denver area...but there are 2 west-bound lanes: one on 15th street, and one on 18th street.
that means you commute like me, you have to use 17th street (or some other over-crowded street), which is a one-way gauntlet of shitheads, assholes, buses, retards, fuckfaces, and pinheads...and I don't necessarily exclude myself from those categories.
Here's what I would do with Denver:
1. BAN ALL CARS FROM THE DOWNTOWN AREA. Seriously. I know it sounds dramatic and unworkable, but think of this: A. it costs alot of money to park a car downtown, B. in rush hour traffic a person on a bicycle - er, a person WALKING - can get around downtown faster than you can in your car. This is the biggest thing that I don't understand. Even if you can get your car up to about 30 mph, you will just be stopped at the next block for a red light.
There is absolutely NO FUCKING REASON why you need to bring a personal car into the downtown area EVER. There exists already a shitty mass transit system that you can exploit if you get the fuck out of your shitty goddamn toyota and stop threatening people on bicycles.
I'm standing firm on that point, so I'll say it again: THERE IS NO FUCKING REASON YOU NEED TO BRING A PERSONAL CAR INTO THE DOWNTOWN AREA, EVER!
There are other ways that are better for you, and better for the people around you.
2. EXPAND THE LIGHT RAIL. Right now there's not nearly enough light-rail service to keep cars out of downtown. There could be a huge park and ride to the north, and the park and ride at broadway and alameda could be expanded with a nice big-ass parking garage. Park your car, take the light rail into downtown...then do some walking!
and yeah, what the fuck is up with the light rail? we should have that shit all over the place out here.
I know what your saying, "WALK! but downtown is almost a mile long, OMG!!!! on a bad day it may take me up to 20 minutes to walk from one end of downtown to the other~!!!!!" don't walk then, bring your bike with you. without traffic on a sunday a bike ride from confluence park to 17th and grant streets is literally under 5 minutes...or it might take as long as 25 minutes if you are on a cruiser bike and stop for a latte.
and don't give me that weather is bad bullshit...we have maybe 2 days of really bad weather for walking around downtown...its after thanksgiving here and its almost 70 degrees and sunny today! put on a coat and stop being such a fat-fuck up.
3. OVERHAUL THE BUS SYSTEM - it should be considered a serious problem that I can frequently WALK to work and out-run the 28B and the 32 and the 48 cross-town buses into downtown. I've posted about this before, my bus, the 28B literally has more than 12 stops between my house and downtown. Thats 12 stops in a little over a 2 mile distance. Its literally stopping every fucking 500 feet...and that doesn't even include all the red lights and traffic that it has to stop for.
and its not just my bus, I have friends/coworkers that ride the crosstown buses into downtown from the east, and they say the same thing "yeah, you can pretty much walk faster than the buses go".
of course if you banned personal vehicles going into the downtown area, you could immediately improve the speed of the cross-town buses.
4. NO MORE 16th STREET MALL SHUTTLE BUSES. You need a place to put some awesome bike lanes? 16th street would be PERFECT! There's no need for the 16th street mall shuttle buses, they are slow, full of puke and BO and SHIT, and also the unwashed overweight...the very people that should be getting out into the sunshine and walking around ride the free shuttlebus in Denver. And during rush hour they run asshole-to-elbow, literally 2 buses in a row driving fat people down a street that they can easily walk down.
The shuttle buses stop on EVERY BLOCK. and I'm sorry, but downtown is not that big, 16th street mall takes minutes to traverse on foot. and yeah, I'll say it: there's really nothing all that cool to see on 16th street mall.
The same fucking shit you see at every other mall is there: Hot Topic, check...Chili's restuarant, check...Lids hat store...check, TJ MAX, check....walgreens, check...Office Depot, Check...food court, Check. Thats about it. really!
Go to the park (any park), its better.
16th street mall is already off-limits to cars, if we could just get rid of those behemoth fucking wastes of time and money people could walk and ride bikes from one end of the downtown to the other. It'd be great!
meh...ok, Yeah, I almost got plastered AGAIN today on the way to work by some entitled, fat lazy shithead in their car. and I'm juiced on coffee.
I'm not asking for much out of life, but maybe, maybe some secure bike lanes in denver (not a stupid lane painted on a really busy street), or better yet, just open 16th street mall to bikes, skateboards, and rollerblades ONLY and give us a conduit to get around downtown....
I already love denver's bike trail system, its awesome, I love riding it, and I really like Denver on the whole, its a great place to own a bicycle. The city planners have already ruined the Denver tech center and the interlocken-loop areas, lets keep downtown for the pedestrians.
go outside, get out of your car and walk around for awhile. fuck your car. fuck that waste of money and time. and if you drive into downtown, fuck you too.