Colorado Supreme Court Strikes Down Black Hawk Bike Ban

Cycling advocates won an important victory today in the Colorado Supreme Court, where justices struck down the notorious bike ban in the town of Black Hawk.

Colorado's highest court today struck down the ban on bicycling in the tiny town of Black Hawk. Image: ##http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_22515210/colo-court-rules-bicycles-state-interest## Denver Post##

This casino town of just 118 banned cycling altogether in 2010 out of supposed concerns about “safety.” Three cyclists who were ticketed for violating the ban — Jamie Webb, Jeff Hermanson, and Mickey Jeronimus — have since been pursuing the case through the state’s court system. They had pro-bono representation from some local attorneys and the support of Bicycle Colorado.

In 2010, bike lawyer Bob Mionske wrote in Bicycling Magazine that the city was “flagrantly flouting state law.” And the Colorado Supreme Court concurred, saying that cycling is a “mixed state and local concern.” Cycling Utah carried this excerpt from the court transcript:

Black Hawk’s ordinance banning bicycles on city streets is in conflict with state statute, section 42-4-109(11), C.R.S. (2012), which requires any municipal bike prohibition to have an available alternate path within 450 feet.

They added:

[The city] may not promulgate regulations that conflict with state statute.

Moinske wrote back in 2010 that “the right to travel is an ancient right, now recognized as one of our constitutional rights, and the roads are the commons, open to all for travel and other uses.” This court decision helps protect that principle for cyclists across the country.

  • KillMoto

    One of my first bike advocacy acts ever was after I read an article on that bike ban.  I sent a $100 donation to Bicycle Colorado in hopes it would help the fight.

    I’ll probably never visit Colorado, and definitely never get to such an obscure place as Black Hawk.  I just felt that an attack on cycling rights like that is an attack on us all.

  • Juel

    Just because you own a car doesn’t mean you own the road.  Drive safe and ride safe.  We all have a responsibility to share to the road.

  • SG

    No problem! Now I would like to also practice my SPORT in freeway lanes. Soccer on US36 anyone?

  • Does anyone know if Blackhawk is required to refund ticket and court costs to individuals?

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Of all the places we’ve criticized for antagonistic treatment of cyclists, Black Hawk, Colorado stands alone. This tiny town of just 118 has taken intolerance of people on bikes to its logical conclusion: an outright ban on cycling. The legal battle began last summer, when three cyclists were ticketed for riding through town. Since then, […]

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