February 12, 2013
Bicyclists in Colorado won a major victory recently, when the state Supreme Court ruled in their favor, overturning a ban on bicycles in the city of Black Hawk. In 2009, Black Hawk became the first American city to ban bicycles from almost every city street. The City began enforcing the law in 2010, and three bicyclists were ticketed for bicycling.
The bicyclists appealed the ticket, and the case went all the way to the Colorado Supreme Court.
Lawyers for the bicyclists told the court that the Black Hawk ban conflicted with state law, and that state law needed to take precedent over the local law because the regulation affected nonlocal residents badly. Under Colorado law, municipalities cannot enact bans against bicycling unless there is an alternate route within 450 feet.
For bicyclists in Black Hawk, who had been gravely dismayed at the actions of local city officials, this has been a major victory. Many bicycle organizations in Colorado had worked diligently to overturn the ban, and their efforts have now been successful.
Unfortunately, California bicycle accident lawyers see that Black Hawk’s action in enacting a ban like this is part of a national trend that reflects growing hostility towards bicyclists. Many motorists, and in fact, many cities in the United States unfortunately, continue to regard bicyclists as “the other.”
It’s time for cities to understand that more bicyclists are joining the biking population of the country, and it’s important to take their rights into consideration. In other words, bicyclists have as much right to be using the street as motorcyclists and motorists, and their rights must be respected.