Bicycle Colorado announced earlier this week that the ban on bikes through the town of Black Hawk, Colo., is going to the state supreme court. Here’s the release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact:
Dan Grunig, Executive Director 303-417-1544, ext.14 Dan@BicycleColorado.org
Black Hawk Bicycle Ban Appeal to Supreme Court
Denver (August 2, 2011)—In a move to ensure freedom to travel on Colorado roads, the ongoing Black Hawk bike ban case has been presented to the Colorado Supreme Court for consideration by the justices to hear the case.
The bicycle ban, which the town initiated in 2010, prohibits bicycle travel on most Black Hawk roads and cuts any paved bicycle connection between Central City and the Peak to Peak Highway. The ban also severs a national cycling route, with the nearest detour increasing the distance by approximately 27 miles.
The case escalated to the Supreme Court following a district court ruling against the three cyclists originally ticketed for riding their bicycles through the town.
“Bicycling contributes over $1 billion annually in economic revenue to the state of Colorado,” said Dan Grunig, Executive Director of Bicycle Colorado, the statewide cycling advocacy group challenging the ban. “This case has garnered a significant amount of negative media attention and is really a black eye for tourism in our state.”
The story has been widely covered by state, national and international media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, CNN and in newspapers as far as the United Kingdom and Thailand.
“With the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge soon being broadcast nationally and around the world—showcasing Colorado as a tourist destination—a ‘no bikes’ sign is not the impression we want to leave with potential visitors,” added Grunig.
Attorneys Paul Schwartz and Andrew Shoemaker of Shoemaker Ghiselli & Schwartz LLC argue that Black Hawk overstepped its rights as a local authority in ignoring state laws by not providing an alternative access route for bicyclists to follow. The town stated safety concerns as the reason for implementing the decision, but there were no reports of bike crashes on the road prior to the ban.
The Colorado Supreme Court requires that all cases be presented for consideration and review prior to case selection. A decision on whether or not the case will go before the court is expected in the next several months.
About Bicycle Colorado:
Bicycle Colorado is the statewide non-profit organization that aims to encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions and provide a voice for cyclists in Colorado. For more information, please visit www.BicycleColorado.org.