June 11, 2010

Colorado Town Bans Bicycles

by Jered Gruber
article here

It seems like it shouldn't be possible, but a small mountain town in Colorado has "approved an ordinance banning bicycle riding on almost every street." The historic mining city of Black Hawk, population 118, is a gambling hotbed and popular tourist destination in the mountains just outside of Denver.

Bicycle Colorado reports that police "are now issuing a ticket to anyone 'caught riding' through town.'"

Bicycle Colorado recently attended a city council meeting and pressed the matter of the cycling ban, but the council "made it clear that they had no intention of changing their ordinance."

The ban seems a bizarre measure, but one that City Manager Mike Copp said was passed to "promote safety." When Bicycle Colorado pressed the matter and asked if there had been any crashes or problems in the city, "neither the City Manager nor Police Chief could recall any car/bike crashes."

News of the ban is beginning to spread and outrage is the general response. The first question that came to my mind and one that Bicycle Colorado answers was: is the city even allowed to do that?

"The Federal Highways Administration says that public roads should accommodate bicyclists, but they don't withhold funding if their guidance is not followed."

So the real danger here would seem to be the precedent set by this egregious misdirection of the law. Bicycle Colorado is preparing to fight the ban, because "if this ban is not struck down, it opens the door for any other Colorado city to flaunt state stature and ban bicycle access without addressing actual car/bike safety improvements."

For the time being though, the only advice for riders rolling through Black Hawk is to, well, walk.

If you'd like to learn more on the matter or take part in finding a solution, I encourage you to head over to Bicycle Colorado's page on the Black Hawk ban.

It seems really odd that according to this article no specific incidents were the cause of the ban. Usually when stuff like this happens it is a knee jerk reaction to something that happened to spark anti-whatever it may be sentiment.



polka said...

white people are stupid.

Anonymous said...

This sucks. Black Hawk is on a awesome mountain route.

I could see this being about raising revenue by ticketing passing cyclists instead of any sort of "safety issues" as they claim...

Crafty said...

Black Hawk critical mass, anyone?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure a CM style ride will convince the town to see the error of it's ways. Right after pigs learn to fly. CM has outlived it's usefulness and will NEVER help drivers and cyclists peacefully coexist.

Anonymous said...

Bicycle ban only makes sense if explained properly and alternatives within the town in question are permitted like walking a bike thru the city or bike parking before entering the town as examples.
Since it was a surprise, it must be due to car drivers that were constrained or annoyed by them or walkers in the terrasses and open city points that had conflicts between pedestrians and walkers. Examples of this is walkers/joggers and cyclists have an instant conflict on cycle paths.
Odd issue in a city that is pro wealth and it is difficult for a cyclist to tranverse in the mountain region due to lots of up downs everywhere and some are too steep to climb or ride up on.

Anonymous said...

skateboarding is already banned in the entire state, bicyclists can screw themselves