The town of Black Hawk may not ban bicyclists from riding within limits, the Colorado Supreme Court said on Monday. The ban, enacted in 2010, was aimed at curbing cycling traffic in order to lessen congestion on its small streets as traffic to its casinos brought in buses of gamblers looking for a good time.
Black Hawk leaders said that a 2009 state law that required vehicles to give cyclists a three-foot berth was "unmanageable for gambler-toting tour buses and casino delivery trucks" navigating the town's narrow streets, so they chose to ban bikes outright.
The Supreme Court said the issue affected all residents of the state, not just Black Hawk, because road cyclists on the Peak to Peak Highway had to walk their bikes and there was no alternate route for them. The state law says that municipalities may block cyclists from riding on busy corridors only if they provide another route within 450 feet.
The city's statement on Monday said it would "look for alternatives" to address safety concerns but would not develop an alternate bike path. "The city has no plans to construct any special accommodations to address this issue."
The court ruling also noted a "ripple effect" that resonated beyond Black Hawk, saying that the ban essentially prohibited bike access to Central City and "may also affect a bicyclist's decision to visit other mountain towns, such as Nederland, that benefit from recreational tourism."
The court's full opinion is available here.
Via The Daily Camera