Denver Bicycle Law

Denver Municipal Code

Rules for Bicycles in Denver, Colorado

Sec. 54-564. – Scope.
Sec. 54-565. – Application of traffic laws.
Sec. 54-566. – Application to other human-powered devices.
Sec. 54-567. – Obedience to traffic-control devices.
Sec. 54-568. – Riding on permanent seat.
Sec. 54-569. – Carrying persons.
Sec. 54-570. – Carrying articles.
Sec. 54-571. – Right-of-way.
Sec. 54-572. – Riding on roadways.
Sec. 54-573. – Speed.
Sec. 54-574. – Emerging from alley or driveway.
Sec. 54-575. – Parking.
Sec. 54-576. – Riding on sidewalks.
Sec. 54-577. – Prohibited on roadways where posted.
Sec. 54-578. – Lamps and reflectors.
Sec. 54-579. – Loud sirens, whistles, etc., prohibited.
Sec. 54-580. – Impoundment.
Sec. 54-581. – Responsibilities of parents and guardians.
Sec. 54-582. – Responsibilities of dealers.
Secs. 54-583—54-599. – Reserved.

Sec. 54-564. – Scope.

(a) The provisions of this article applicable to bicycles shall apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon any street, roadway, highway or upon any public path set aside for the exclusive operation and use of bicycles, subject to those exceptions contained herein.

(b) The provisions of this article applicable to an electrical assisted bicycle shall apply whenever an electrical assisted bicycle is operated upon any street, roadway or highway, subject to those exceptions stated herein.

(Code 1950, § 522.1-3; Ord. No. 685-09, § 7, 11-23-09)

BIKES NEED TO FOLLOW SAME RULES AS CARS WHERE APPLICABLE

Sec. 54-565. – Application of traffic laws.

Every person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subjected to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by the traffic rules and regulations of this city applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except as to special regulations and except as to the provisions of laws and ordinances which by their nature can have no application.

(Code 1950, § 522.11; Ord. No. 685-09, § 8, 11-23-09)

Sec. 54-566. – Application to other human-powered devices.

The provisions of this article shall apply to other human-powered devices as well as bicycles.

BIKES NEED TO STOP AT STOP SIGNS, RED LIGHTS, AND FOLLOW SIGNS, BUT YOU CAN WALK YOUR BIKE AND THEN YOU ARE TREATED LIKE A WALKER AND CAN WALK ON SIDEWALKS OR AGAINST TRAFFIC

Sec. 54-567. – Obedience to traffic-control devices.

(a) Any person operating a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle, shall obey the instructions of official traffic-control signals, signs and other control devices applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer.

(b) Whenever authorized signs are erected indicating that no right or left or U-turn is permitted, it shall be unlawful for any person operating a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle to disobey the direction of any such sign, except where such person dismounts from the bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle to make any such turn, in which event, such person shall then obey the regulations applicable to pedestrians.

(Code 1950, § 522.12; Ord. No. 685-09, § 9, 11-23-09)

BELIEVE IT OR NOT FOLKS YOU CAN BE TICKETED FOR NOT SITTING PROPERLY ON THE SEAT, CARRYING ANOTHER PERSON, OR CARRYING SOMETHING WITH TWO HANDS ON A BIKE IN THE 3 SECTIONS BELOW.

Sec. 54-568. – Riding on permanent seat.

It shall be unlawful for any person propelling or riding upon a bicycle or an electrical assisted bicycle to ride other than astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.

(Code 1950, § 522.13-1; Ord. No. 685-09, § 10, 11-23-09)

Sec. 54-569. – Carrying persons.

No bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one (1) time than the number for which it is designed and a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle must be equipped with permanent seat, hand holds and foot rests.

(Code 1950, § 522.13-2; Ord. No. 685-09, § 11, 11-23-09)

Sec. 54-570. – Carrying articles.

It shall be unlawful for any person operating a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle to carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the rider from keeping at least one (1) hand upon the handlebars.

(Code 1950, § 522.17; Ord. No. 685-09, § 12, 11-23-09)

HEY CARS NEED TO YIELD TO US AND NOT CUT US OFF WHEN WE HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY.

Sec. 54-571. – Right-of-way.

A bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall be considered a vehicle under all portions of this Code which govern right-of-way.

(Code 1950, § 501.1-16; Ord. No. 685-09, § 13, 11-23-09)

STAY TO THE RIGHT WHEN SAFE AND, NOT MORE THAN TWO ABREAST

Sec. 54-572. – Riding on roadways.

(a) Every person operating a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right-hand side of the roadway as judged safe by the bicyclist to facilitate the movement of such overtaking vehicles unless other conditions make it unsafe to do so.

(b) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two (2) abreast except on roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding bicycles two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.

(c) Persons riding electrical assisted bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two (2) abreast.

(d) This section shall not apply to a uniformed city, state, or federal employee riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle while engaged in the discharge of his or her duties or to a police officer riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle that is a marked or unmarked official police bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle, while engaged in the discharge of his or her official duties.

(e) An electrical assisted bicycle shall not be operated on a limited-access highway.

(Code 1950, § 522.14; Ord. No. 464-02, § 1, 6-17-02; Ord. No. 685-09, § 14, 11-23-09)

CYCISTS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO RIDE ON SIDEWALK, BUT WHEN ON SIDEWALK, CYCLISTS ARE LIMITED TO GOING WALKING SPEED WHICH IS ABOUT 6 MPH

Sec. 54-573. – Speed.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle on a roadway or bicycle path at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing or in excess of the posted speed limit.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle on a sidewalk, which is not part of a designated bicycle route, at a speed in excess of six (6) miles per hour.

(c) This section shall not apply to a uniformed city, state, or federal employee riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle while engaged in the discharge of his or her duties or to a police officer riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle that is a marked or unmarked official police bicycle, while engaged in the discharge of his or her official duties.

(Code 1950, § 522.15; Ord. No. 685-09, § 15, 11-23-09)

BY ALL MEANS YIELD TO ALL WHEN PULLING OUT FROM A DRIVEWAY OR PARKING LOT TO A ROAD OR SIDEWALK

Sec. 54-574. – Emerging from alley or driveway.

The operator of a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle emerging from an alley, driveway or building shall, upon approaching a sidewalk or the sidewalk area extending across any alleyway, yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians approaching on the sidewalk or sidewalk area, and upon entering the roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on the roadway.

(Code 1950, § 522.16; Ord. No. 685-09, § 16, 11-23-09)

Sec. 54-575. – Parking.

(a) A bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle may be parked upon a roadway at any angle to the curb or edge of the roadway at any location where parking is allowed.

(b) A bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle may be parked on the roadway abreast of another such bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle near the side of the roadway or any location where parking is allowed in such a manner as does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.

(c) A bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle may park on a sidewalk in a rack to support such bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle or against a building or at the curb, in such a manner as to not impede the normal and reasonable movement of pedestrian or other traffic.

(Code 1950, § 522.18; Ord. No. 685-09, § 17, 11-23-09)

CYCISTS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO RIDE ON SIDEWALK BUT THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO THIS

Sec. 54-576. – Riding on sidewalks.

(a) Riding bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles upon or along sidewalks, whether on public property or private property opened for use by the general public, shall be unlawful except:

(1) When the operator or rider thereof is a uniformed city employee or uniformed state employee or uniformed federal employee, which are working as part of their official duties and are riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle or a police officer riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle that is a marked or unmarked official police bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle or while engaged in the discharge of his or her official duties; or

(2) When the operator or rider of a bicycle thereof is engaged in the delivery of newspapers;

(3) Where the sidewalk is part of a designated bicycle route; or

(4) When the operator or rider thereof is preparing to dismount and park the bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle at a location on the block on which the bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle is being operated, or the operator has just mounted and has not yet crossed a street or alley.

(b) Bicyclists shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians on the sidewalk.

(c) Riding electrical assisted bicycles upon or along sidewalks shall be unlawful, except as provided for in this section above.

(Code 1950, §§ 522.19-1, 522.19-2, 852.5; Ord. No. 464-02, § 1, 6-17-02; Ord. No. 685-09, § 18, 11-23-09)

Sec. 54-577. – Prohibited on roadways where posted.

The city traffic engineer is authorized to erect signs on any roadway prohibiting the riding of bicycles or electrical assisted bicycle thereon by any person, and when such signs are in place, no person shall disobey the same, except a uniformed city or state or federal employee riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle, while engaged in the discharge of his or her duties, or a police officer riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle that is a marked or unmarked official police bicycle or an electrical assisted bicycle, while engaged in his or her official duties.

(Code 1950, § 522.19-3; Ord. No. 464-02, § 1, 6-17-02; Ord. No. 685-09, § 19, 11-23-09)

IF YOU RIDE AT NIGHT MAKE YOURSELF VISIBLE BY USING A WHITE LIGHT UP FRONT AND A RED LIGHT OR AT MINIMUM HAVE A RED REFLECTOR. I RECOMMEND A BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT UP FRONT SO YOU CAN SEE AND BE SEEN.

Sec. 54-578. – Lamps and reflectors.

(a) Every bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle, when in use at night time, shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred (500) feet to the front.

(b) Every bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle, when in use at night time, shall be equipped with a red reflector of a type approved by the department, which shall be visible for six (6) hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle.

(c) Every bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle, when in use at night time, shall be equipped with reflective material of sufficient size and reflectibility to be visible from both sides for six (6) hundred feet when directly in front of lawful lower beams or head lamps on a motor vehicle or, in lieu of such reflective material, with a lighted lamp visible from both sides from a distance of at least five hundred feet.

(d) A bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle may be equipped with lights or reflectors in addition to those required in this section.

(Code 1950, § 522.20; Ord. No. 685-09, § 20, 11-23-09)

Sec. 54-579. – Loud sirens, whistles, etc., prohibited.

No bicycle or an electrical assisted bicycle shall be equipped with, nor shall any person install upon or use upon any bicycle or an electrical assisted bicycle a siren, whistle, or other device which emits a loud or raucous noise, except a police officer engaged in the discharge of his or her official duties and the bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle is a marked or unmarked official police bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle.

(Code 1950, § 507.5-2; Ord. No. 464-02, § 1, 6-17-02; Ord. No. 685-09, § 21, 11-23-09)

Cross reference— Noise control generally, Ch. 36.

Sec. 54-580. – Impoundment.

(a) Members of the police department are hereby authorized to remove a bicycle or an electrical assisted bicycle from any street, alley, highway, sidewalk, bridge, viaduct, tunnel, path or other public place or way, to the bicycle pound or to any lot or place maintained by the city or the department for the storage of impounded bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles, or to any other place of safety under any of the circumstances hereinafter enumerated.

(1) When such bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle is not in safe mechanical condition;

(2) When such bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle is not equipped as required by section 54-578

(3) When such bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle is operated by any person under the age of sixteen (16) years in violation of any ordinance of the city relating to traffic or in violation of any of the provisions of this article.

(b) No bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle removed or impounded because not in safe mechanical condition or because not equipped as required by section 54-578 shall be released until such unsafe mechanical condition has been corrected or such lacking equipment has been placed on such bicycle or the manager of safety has been satisfied that such bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle will not be ridden, propelled or operated upon any street, alley, highway, sidewalk, bridge, viaduct, tunnel, path or other public place or way until such unsafe mechanical condition has been corrected or such lacking equipment has been placed on such bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle, and such bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall be released to the owner or person entitled to the possession thereof when the same is in safe mechanical condition and when such lacking equipment has been placed thereon or when the manager of safety has been so satisfied.

(c) No bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle removed or impounded because operated by any person under the age of sixteen (16) years in alleged violation of any ordinance of the city relating to traffic or in alleged violation of any of the provisions of this article shall be released until the manager of safety shall have had a reasonable period of time in which to investigate or cause to be investigated the facts relative to such alleged violation; if at the conclusion of such investigation the manager finds such alleged violation to have occurred, the manager may order such bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle to be retained or further impounded for such further period not exceeding thirty (30) days as in the manager’s discretion shall seem proper, and at the expiration of such period or upon the conclusion of such investigation if the manager shall determine that such alleged violation did not occur, such bicycle shall be released to the owner or person entitled to the possession thereof.

(d) Whenever a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle is removed from any public place or way or impounded as authorized by this article and the identity of the owner or person entitled to the possession thereof is known, such owner or person shall be given notice in writing of the fact of such removal or impounding, the reasons therefor, and the place to which the bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle has been removed or in which it is impounded.

(e) Whenever a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall have been impounded for a period of two (2) months and no claim of ownership or the right to the possession thereof shall have been made and established to the satisfaction of the manager of safety, the manager shall consider such bicycles or electrical assisted bicycle as abandoned and the property of the city, to be disposed of as such, after the first advertising in one or more official publications of the city a notice stating that all bicycles impounded and unclaimed for a period of two (2) months will be considered as abandoned and become city property if not properly claimed within ten (10) days of the date of publication of the notice.

(f) The manager of safety shall be, and is hereby empowered and authorized to adopt rules and regulations governing the procedure to be followed in the removal and impounding of bicycles or electrical assisted bicycle pursuant to the provisions of this article.

(Code 1950, §§ 522.21, 522.23; Ord. No. 279-03, § 10, 4-21-03; Ord. No. 685-09, § 22, 11-23-09)

PARENTS TEACH YOUR KIDS THESE RULES AND HOW TO USE BIKES SAFELY

Sec. 54-581. – Responsibilities of parents and guardians.

It shall be unlawful for the parent of any child or the guardian of any ward to authorize or knowingly permit any such child or ward to violate any of the provisions of this article.

(Code 1950, § 522.1-2)

Sec. 54-582. – Responsibilities of dealers.

Every person engaged in the business of buying or selling new or secondhand bicycles shall make a report to the police department of every bicycle purchased or sold by such dealer, giving the name and address of the person from whom purchased, or to whom sold, a description of such bicycle by name or make, and the frame number thereof.

(Code 1950, § 522.10; Ord. No. 685-09, § 24, 11-23-09)

Editor’s note— Section 23 of Ord. No. 685-09, adopted Nov. 23, 2009, deleted § 54-582, responsibilities of rental agencies, which derived from § 522.9 of the 1950 Code. Section 24 of said ordinance renumbered § 54-583 as § 54-582

Secs. 54-583—54-599. – Reserved.