Littleton cyclists find happy trails

City hopes to expand its network of 'low-stress' bike lanes

Posted 9/16/19

Biking to work in Littleton can be a pretty pleasant experience. “The trail system here is killer,” said Tyler Burns, a tour guide with Littleton's GoodTurn Cycles, a nonprofit bike shop that …

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Littleton cyclists find happy trails

City hopes to expand its network of 'low-stress' bike lanes

Posted

Biking to work in Littleton can be a pretty pleasant experience.

“The trail system here is killer,” said Tyler Burns, a tour guide with Littleton's GoodTurn Cycles, a nonprofit bike shop that hosts a youth job training program.

Burns commutes by bike from Arvada, and says the final stretch down the Mary Carter Greenway, which parallels the South Platte River, makes for an idyllic ride.

“It's such a great way to start the day,” Burns said.

Littleton is criss-crossed by bike trails, including the Mary Carter, the High Line Canal Trail, the Little Dry Creek Trail and others.

Biking in Littleton is the focus of a good chunk of the city's new Transportation Master Plan, currently making its way toward ratification by city council.

The plan, which aims to guide transit projects in the city over the next 20 years, takes stock of Littleton's current bike infrastructure — the good and bad.

Littleton has more than 51 miles of bike trails, according to the document, and 24 miles of on-street bike lanes and routes — covering 15% of the city's roads.

During a five-year study period from 2011-15, the document counts 77 car-versus-bike crashes in Littleton, with 17 of those along Broadway. There were no fatalities in those 77 collisions.

A separate study looking at more recent data, covering 2014 to 2018, cataloged bike crashes in high-injury intersections, with the intersection of Mineral Avenue and Jackass Hill Road alone seeing seven car-bike crashes — again, none fatal.

An inventory of Littleton's streets and bike trails found the city has 60 miles of what the study calls “low-stress bicycle facilities,” meaning trails or lanes with low speed limits and diminished danger from car traffic. The vast majority are along the city's dedicated bike trails.

The plan proposes adding an additional 28 miles of low-stress bike facilities to the city, mostly in the form of protected bike lanes.

Completing the proposed mileage would mean that more than three-quarters of Littletonians would be within a 2-mile low-stress bike ride to either the Mineral or Littleton Downtown light rail stations, according to the study, and more than half of households would be within a half-mile low-stress bike ride of neighborhood schools.

In the meantime, Tyler Burns is pretty happy with his commute.

“And the great thing is, if I'm too tired at the end of the day to bike home, I just hop on the train.”

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