Black Hawk, Colorado Ban Overturned

Two and a half years ago, three touring cyclists were cited for violating Black Hawk, Colorado’s ordinance banning bicycling on most streets in their town. The ordinance made the town impossible to legally ride through. We reported on the situation in two blog posts when we heard about it in June 2010, Ban on Bicycling in Black Hawk, Colorado Impacts Route and Bicycling Ban in Black Hawk Update. With the support of Bicycle Colorado, the cyclists fought the tickets. After failing in the first two rounds of court proceedings, they continued their appeal all the way to the highest court in the state.

On February 4th, 2013, the Colorado Supreme Court released their ruling on the case. It strikes down the city’s local ordinance in favor of state law. Traveling cyclists may now ride through Black Hawk on the popular Peak to Peak Highway/State Route 119 or our Great Parks South route without fear of being ticketed. You can get the complete ruling at the Colorado Supreme Court website, Webb v. Black Hawk (PDF).

Unfortunately, Black Hawk is not alone in attempting to restrict access to cyclists on their roads. Similar issues are also being debated in Iowa and Ohio. Hopefully, this case will help to define the issues and lead to solutions that are beneficial to all.

Image from Adventure Cycling’s Great Parks South Bicycle Route, Section 1 map.

GEOPOINTS BULLETIN is written by Jennifer ‘Jenn’ Milyko, an Adventure Cycling cartographer, and appears weekly, highlighting curious facts, figures, and persons from the Adventure Cycling Route Network with tips and hints for personal route creation thrown in for good measure. She also wants to remind you that map corrections and comments are always welcome via the online Map Correction Form.

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5 Responses to Black Hawk, Colorado Ban Overturned

  1. PDXK.TV says:

    It's hard to believe that we'd actually be outlawing bicycling in our supposed “free country” in favor of massively subsidized motorized carriages.

    And what a waste of time that they had to fight this thing all the way to the highest court in the state – but laudable that they did. Thank you!

  2. Bike Hermit says:

    Thanks for the update! Think I would still ride through that town, wave, and keep going without spending any money.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank goodness the CO Supreme Court shut that silly bike ban down. A great victory for common sense.

    Unfortunately, Missouri is trying to legislate auto-centricity, too: http://www.kansascyclist.com/news/2013/02/show-me-nonsense/

    (Which could, potentially, effect some of the great touring routes thru the state: TransAm, Mississippi River Trail, Route 66, etc.)

  4. Anonymous says:

    What's the reasoning behind Black Hawk's ban? I don't get it.

  5. They cited safety concerns but didn't have the data to back it up. Regardless, by my understanding of this ruling, they are required to provide a route through town.

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