Havana Bike Lane to Expand to Four Lanes in Effort to Increase Usage

Havana Bike LaneHavana St. will be under construction again after city officials and the Stapleton Principal HOA have decided the bike lanes are not getting the amount of usage they had hoped. “We’re not sure what the issue is,” said HOA President Paul Harris. “But, the lane is not getting near the usage we had hoped. I mean, we thought there was plenty of space for bikers with the parking areas on both sides, plus the bike lane, plus that extra lane we have there for no apparent reason. But, apparently, it’s just not attractive enough for bikers to come use the lane. We want to see what we can do to change that.”

The Stapleton Principal HOA team worked hard to convince the City of Denver more needed to be done. “It’s really important we get bikers here,” said Harris. “It’s good for Stapleton if people view us as a community of bikers and walkers and not just drivers, like everywhere else in the city.” The new plan for Havana St. south of MLK is to add three more bike lanes, making the area much more attractive to bikers. “Currently, almost no one is using the bike lane we have provided,” said Harris. “Maybe if we beefed up the bike lanes, this would be more attractive to bikers, and we will start getting the traffic we have been hoping for.” City engineers say the added bike lanes will cause a major issue with vehicle traffic. “I’m not sure we will be able to still get a car through with the added bike lanes,” said traffic engineer Kyle Marion. “From my point of view, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.” Residents in the area seem to be pleased however. “Anything we can do to get cars from speeding through here,” said resident Rob Gates. “The less traffic the better.”

One drawback to the plan is the potential for construction of an overpass. “We are considering the construction of an overpass,” said Marion. “This would allow the vehicles to flow freely, while the bikers travel safely below. Now, we will have to build extra high guard rails so cars don’t come crashing down on houses, but, if that did happen, they would for sure miss all the bikers directly underneath them.” The projects are being estimated at a hefty cost. “Redoing the bike lane for that area will cost roughly $100,000. And to do the overpass, well, that would be a minimum $25 million project.” For now, the city and the Principal HOA are taking things one pedal at a time. “We build the extra bike lanes,” said Harris. “Then we sit back and watch all those bikers come riding by. Hopefully, wearing more than those awful shorts. Dear god, put a regular pair of shorts over those. You’re not competing in the Tour De France.”

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