Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Black Hawk Bicycle Ban

The city of Black Hawk, Colorado has been in the news recently due to it's recent enforcement of an ordinance that was passed back in January (PDF) of this year. And cyclists are upset.

One thing I'd like to point out is that although the news reports seem to imply that bikes are being singled out--and to some extent that applies to the wording of the ordinance--the ban applies to all non-motorized traffic.

I have no idea how many people in the Black Hawk area ride horses or use a horse drawn carriage, but the ban applies to them, too.

Here's a map of the roads where the ban is in effect.

View Black Hawk Bicycle Ban in a larger map

Thanks to Google Street View you can take a tour of most of the roads and see for yourself. That section of Hwy 279 is very narrow and there's little room for pedestrians let alone cyclists in some spots. I think Main Street could be a little crowded but with all the pedestrians and vehicle traffic, I think bikes would be fine. Bobtail Road is very narrow but if there's little traffic then it wouldn't be a big deal. After all, how many cyclists are we talking about?

Miners Mesa Road has a narrow should. Since it's a dead end, I wouldn't expect much vehicle traffic. There's no street view available for Silver Gulch Road.

From the news article:

Michael Copp, Black Hawk's city manager, the equivalent of chief executive of a local council in the UK, admitted there had not been any accidents to prompt the ban, just concern over potential collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles on 19th-century streets that were designed for horses and carriages.

Rhetorical question. If the streets were designed for non-motorized traffic then why is it being banned? Yeah, yeah, I know. But using that same justification they could just as easily ban large trucks, recreational vehicles, etc. And that's not going to happen.

1 comment:

vanillajane said...

This law is atrocious.
I cannot believe that town is able to do this.