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Old 06-19-2010, 03:10 PM
 
8 posts, read 16,545 times
Reputation: 11
Default car or bike in Denver?

I will be a 23 yr old Grad Student moving to Denver in a couple of months. After doing my research and talking to my professors who taught or lived in Denver, they told me that Denver has a good transportation system with a good bike program.

Here is my dilemma:
1. My dad doesnt want me to bring my car to Denver due to the price of parking and my rare usage of the car. In fact, I wont be able to drive it back home since there might be a lot of freeway closures during the winter. And another, I have only experienced snow once, so driving in the snow will be a pain.
2. I want to live a sustainable lifestyle and break my habit of being dependent on my car since the state I live in right now is very auto-oriented.

My question:
1. Are my basic necessities from Cap Hill a bike away?
2. Do people bike around during the winter time?
3. Bike thieves in Denver?
4. Will I be able to do some outdoor activities (e.g. hiking) since I now currently live in an area where I can bike to SOME mountain bases.

Last edited by ucdenver2010; 06-19-2010 at 03:20 PM..
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Old 06-19-2010, 04:15 PM
 
4,749 posts, read 8,457,817 times
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You are not going to have any problems living in Denver without owning a car. Yes, people do bike in Denver during the winter. Denver is known for the bike trails and the popularity of bicycling.

You will be able to get most of your essentials in life near Capital Hill, either by biking and walking. Keep in mind that Denver has an extensive public transit system that is extremely bike friendly. All local buses have bike racks. Regional buses have under carriage bike storage, in addition to bike racks. Commuter rail allows bicycles on board. What you cannot get downtown is only a bus or train ride away. You can just walk from some of the commuter rail stations to local shopping for groceries or to a mall. Buses connect all areas with extensive shopping, health care and all amenities of city life. There is even a system of self serve bike rental kiosk all over the city that will allow free biking for a short ride.

You can easily get to many trails and recreational amenities by bus or commuter rail, as open space and parks are all over the metro area. You can bike directly from Downtown along the Platte River or Cherry Creek to many areas. These trails can take you to the foothills of the Rockies. It is very extensive urban and suburban trail system that interconnect. You can get to Boulder and load you bike on a bus and have access to all the open space around that city.

I am an advocate of a car free or car less lifestyle. Be assured that in Denver, you do not need to own a car to have freedom of movement. You are going to love our city.

Livecontent
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:02 PM
 
299 posts, read 415,584 times
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Riding a bike around in the middle of a Denver winter seems pretty cold to me, but maybe I could have done it 20 years ago
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:21 PM
Status: "Happy Halloween!" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
69,140 posts, read 58,270,444 times
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^^Most days in Denver aren't *that* cold, and there's always RTD.
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:17 AM
 
8 posts, read 16,545 times
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thanks Livecontent! I am a huge advocate for biking as well. In fact, I enjoy biking and I really want to get rid of my car dependent lifestyle! Thanks for fueling my excitement about being able to move to a place where I don't need my car.
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:46 AM
 
479 posts, read 553,923 times
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I rarely use my car in the city. It is very easy to get around by bike as long as you don't mind the occasional winter snow storm and the summer heat. Compared to new york, theft is far less of a problem, but bikes do get stolen occasionally. I see bikes locked up overnight with a cable lock that wouldn't last 10 minutes in NYC, but I would recommend a good kryptonite u-lock.

Recreational riding directly from denver is pretty crappy, but you can get to the foothills in golden and boulder for biking, hiking, etc by bus very easily. One of my favorite rides is to take the lightrail to chatfield and climb up deer creek canyon. But if you want to get further up into the mountains, it would be difficult without a car. You should be able to carpool with friends for skiing on the weekends.
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Laguna Beach CA./Denver CO.
2,370 posts, read 3,008,012 times
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There are plenty of people who live in Boulder and commute to CU-Denver. The A-B bus..Boulder to Denver runs straight to Denver's Market Street Station just a quick stroll from Auraria Campus. You could have the best of both worlds. I took classes at CU-Denver for a semester while enjoying the Boulder outdoor lifestyle outside classes. Boulder by far is what you are looking for. That isn't to say front range mountain parks are not excellent, but you need a car to access them. The social scene more than holds its own here as well.
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:21 PM
 
4,749 posts, read 8,457,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott5280 View Post
There are plenty of people who live in Boulder and commute to CU-Denver. The A-B bus..Boulder to Denver runs straight to Denver's Market Street Station just a quick stroll from Auraria Campus. You could have the best of both worlds. I took classes at CU-Denver for a semester while enjoying the Boulder outdoor lifestyle outside classes. Boulder by far is what you are looking for. That isn't to say front range mountain parks are not excellent, but you need a car to access them. The social scene more than holds its own here as well.
Ah, I can tell that you have not taken the Bus to Denver in a long time. The name of the current route is "B" local which stops at all the locations along I-36 or "BX" the express, direct to Boulder. The old route name was A-B but now that is the designation for the Boulder to DIA SkyRide.

Your suggestion is OK and I understand your point of view, as I lived in Boulder when I was young and vital. However, Denver does offer much in terms of entertainment and recreation; some of it better than Boulder. Why spend the time on the Bus going back and forth when you can have more of a relaxed lifestyle by living in Denver. I take that Bus all the time, as I catch it at the Westminster Park n Ride. It can be a long trip, even with the Express, if the weather and traffic is bad.

Yes, you can stroll to Auraria from Market Street Station but that is a long walk for an old man, like me. I use to do it in the past. It must be at least over a mile to the Student Union. It would better to catch the rail on the 16th Street Mall--there are two stops at Auraria.

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 06-20-2010 at 01:29 PM..
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
3,814 posts, read 5,052,090 times
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Without a car, you're going to find it a pain to do a lot of the things that you want and need to do. Denver is very spread-out.
Yes biking is popular in Denver, but this is mostly recreational biking, not "living-your-daily-life" biking.
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:09 PM
 
8 posts, read 16,545 times
Reputation: 11
woob, thank you for your recreational advice.

scott5280, I am from San Luis Obispo, CA and I hear Boulder is very similar. I prefer to live in an area where I can walk or bike just in case I miss the bus; but thank you for your advice. I will def. have to visit boulder as I hear it is nice.

80skeys, so you mean to say that a car is indeed essential?
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