In a victory for the state’s cycling community, Black Hawk must open its streets to bicyclists following a Colorado State Supreme Court ruling this week that overturned the gambling town’s nearly three-year biking ban.
Black Hawk violated state law when it failed to provide an alternate—and nearby—route through the city that would have allowed cyclists to bypass the busy Gregory Street route, which provided the only link through the community to the Colorado 119 piece of the uber-popular Peak to Peak Highway. Previously, the bicycle ban forced cyclists to either walk their bikes through the city or to take a nearly 50-mile detour around the community. Black Hawk’s outright ban was the only one in the state.
The city had argued that the constant traffic into the gambling community was unsafe for bicyclists because the streets were shoulderless and too narrow. In 2009, Colorado law required trucks to give cyclists three feet of space, a decision that prompted Black Hawk’s bike ban the following year.
The state Supreme Court’s ruling came after three cyclists appealed $68 tickets they received in June 2010 for pedaling through the community. The court said communities that want to limit bicycle access—such as the biking ban on Denver’s 16th Street Mall—must follow state lawn and provide alternate routes within 450 feet of the restricted area.
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