Colorado DOT Director Lew takes a Sunday ride with friends

July 17, 2019

Group photo of Bicycle Colorado’s Sunday ride participants including Director Lew of CDOT.


On Sunday, July 14, Bicycle Colorado hosted a ride on Denver’s bike infrastructure featuring special guest Colorado Department of Transportation Director Shoshana Lew. With the common goal of making Colorado’s streets safer for all, 22 representatives from local advocacy groups and industry leaders toured some of the best Denver has to offer as well as the worst.

In a discussion afterwards, Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Section Manager Betsy Jacobsen and Director Lew discussed the department’s data-driven approach to prioritizing bike projects, looking at stress levels, amount of bicycling (based on Strava) and crashes. They are making changes, fast, focusing first on places where there are a lot of bike riders and a lot of crashes.

Quick wins are one key area of focus. For example, CDOT recently installed yellow plates on traffic lights along several key arterials in Durango – these plates cost a mere $126 each and have been shown to reduce crashes up to 50% at specific times of the day.


Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Section Manager Betsy Jacobsen and Director Lew discuss the CDOT’s data-driven approach to prioritizing bike projects.


CDOT is actively engaging with advocacy organizations, businesses and bike riders across Colorado to improve multi-modal transportation opportunities. Director Lew is setting a gold standard for state DOTs — taking time out of her weekend to meet with those working in the trenches to make Colorado communities better through bicycling. The department is using the best data available to identify and prioritize projects that will increase safety and bicycling, and asking for input from bike riders to help prioritize projects.

These fun, casual bike rides and discussions demonstrate that diverse groups can build relationships and find common ground toward safer streets for everyone. We all have the opportunity and responsibility to use our voices to improve our communities — whether you’re an advocate, rider or business leader, encourage your state DOT staff to join you for a bike tour so that they can see first-hand what’s great and what could improve in your city.


Representatives from local advocacy groups and industry leaders cruise the streets of Denver on bikes.


There’s a chance for Colorado riders to weigh in, too, by taking a short survey on what projects you would like built and which issues are important to you. Your opinion is essential to create plans that encompass the needs of all Coloradoans.

A huge thanks to Director Lew, Betsy Jacobsen and all the participants who came together to ride and talk about better biking. We look forward to seeing what we’re able to accomplish together.


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