West Bowles bike lanes put on hold

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Mixed public sentiment results in proposal being tabled

By Ramsey Scott

Bike lanes won’t be showing up on West Bowles Avenue anytime soon. 

Jeffco has tabled a proposal to paint on-street bicycle lanes on Bowles from C-470 to east of South Pierce Street. While the plan is feasible, public sentiment was mixed on the project, said Jeffco Transportation and Engineering Director Kevin French. 

Bowles had been identified in the county’s 2012 bicycle-pedestrian plan as a potential east-west corridor for two-wheeled vehicles. 

The plan called for the bike lanes to be painted along the outside of the west- and eastbound lanes of Bowles. The bike lanes could have been added between C-470 and Zang Street, just east of C-470, and from Wadsworth Boulevard to Pierce Street, without altering the existing traffic lanes.

But opponents of the plan pointed to the stretch from Zang to Wadsworth, about 3 of the 5 miles involved, where one of the three auto lanes in each direction would have been removed to make way for the bike lanes. 

French, in a presentation to the county commissioners Jan. 28, said his department found support for an east-west bicycle corridor, but the loss of traffic capacity and the lack of a barrier between bicyclists and automotive traffic along West Bowles spurred resistance. 

David Evans, president of Bike Jeffco and a strong supporter of the bike-lane proposal, did not return a call seeking a comment by press time. 

French also said the Southeast Local Improvement District, which was approved by voters and provided the tax revenue to widen West Bowles Avenue to six lanes, was set up with language stipulating that Bowles would have six lanes of traffic. French said a public meeting would be necessary before any changes could be made to that guideline.


Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine. Check back at www.columbinecourier.com for updates.