Saturday, December 11, 2010

Decidedly Bike-Unfriendly

"This town ain't big enough for both of us!"

Blackhawk, Colorado, maybe an hour west of Denver (just north of Idaho Springs), is a tourist destination nestled in the mountains. It's a gambling town with a decidedly "wild west" feel to it. I passed through there in 2003 on the motorsickle, as I traveled between Mount Evans and Rocky Mountain National Park, and remember the place well.

CO - Black Hawk

Evidently the city fathers of Blackhawk have passed a no-bicycling ordinance for the entire town, declaring that the streets aren't wide enough for both cars and bikes. You'd think there must've been an incident involving a tourist-on-bike and a local-in-car, or vice versa, prompting the move, but nobody seems to be aware of a glaring problem... just the regular ongoing competition for limited space that some folks feel.

Are those Blackhawk Aristocrats aware that a lot of folks visit Colorado to ride bikes? And that those folks might avoid patronizing their town on account of their rather discriminatory law? (The law was upheld recently by a judge - story Here - scroll down. But I'm confident a determined cyclist could successfully press the issue, since in Colorado and most jurisdictions, public roadways must accommodate cyclists.)

Closer to home (at least for me), the shenanigans continue on the stretch of Greenbelt behind Riverside Village in Garden City.

The Citizens for an Open Greenbelt group is reporting that 11 cyclists have been cited for riding on that stretch of the bike path. Ironically, cops on a motorized ATV patrol the bike path, to make sure cyclists aren't using it! (What's wrong with this picture?)

Stay tuned for further developments. The COG has officially taken it to court, and I totally expect them to prevail. Frankly, I'm disappointed that apparently none of the cited cyclists pleaded not guilty, or appealed their convictions. (But such actions take money.)

NOTES: I took the photo of Black Hawk, when I passed thru in 2003. I lifted the Greenbelt photo from the COG Facebook thing. (Check it out.) Previous commentary HERE.

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