Winter Cycling

Bicyclist riding down a path in the snow with snowy trees behind her.

Riding a bicycle is not a summer-only activity in Colorado, especially for people who use a bike as their primary way to get around. Riding in winter does present some extra safety challenges, however. It is dark for more hours in the day, so it is extra important to make sure you are visible with the proper lights and reflectors. Roads, bike lanes and bike paths can also be slick or slushy from ice and snow. If possible, switch your bike to larger or grippier tires in the winter and inflate them to the low end of the recommended range. Remember bicyclists are legally allowed to ride in the center of the righthand travel lane for any reason, so be prepared to take the lane if a bike lane or bike path has too much muck or ice.

City snow plowing is focused primarily on making motor vehicle lanes passable and minimizing the effects created by piles of snow. Bike facilities are also plowed to the best extent possible as they are part of our citywide transportation system, but there are many bike facility configurations that cannot be plowed without creating other problems for motor vehicles or pedestrians, such as burying parked cars, covering the sidewalk, or blocking water runoff in the gutter as snow melts. For this reason, Lakewood has identified certain bike facility segments that do not consistently pose such challenges and has committed to keeping these segments usable for cyclists during winter months. Those segments are shown on the downloadable map below. The map is not an exhaustive list of all bike facilities that will be plowed, but merely highlights the routes that are most likely to be consistently clear. 

Winter Bike Facilities Snow Removal Map(PDF, 450KB)

Other bike facilities not shown on the map will still be plowed as resources allow, but the operating width that is cleared may vary depending on any adjacent obstacles such as parking or sidewalk. Some off-street bike facilities—including the new separated bike lane on South Garrison—may not be cleared until the next business day after a snow event.

You can find more information on snow plowing in Lakewood, including a comprehensive map of sidewalks and paths that are cleared by the city, by visiting the Snow and Ice Control page.