Bike bans declared unconstitutional in Colorado, introduced in Missouri
Bike happy, cyclists, and bike free! The Colorado Supreme Court this week overturned a ban on bikes in the town of Black Hawk, where since June 2010 cycling citizens have been forced to walk their bikes through downtown’s narrow roads or face $68 tickets. From The Denver Post:
Black Hawk’s ban forced cyclists to walk their bikes through the city’s casino-lined streets on the southern end of the famed Peak to Peak Highway, a high-country scenic by-way popular with road cyclists. …
Black Hawk had argued that its home-rule status allowed it to script its own traffic laws. The city said the 2009 state law that required vehicles to give cyclists a 3-foot berth was unmanageable for gambler-toting tour buses and casino delivery trucks navigating Black Hawk’s narrow streets. So the city’s leaders chose to ban bikes. …
The Supreme Court ruled the issue was not just local but impacted state residents. The court noted that municipalities can ban bikes — Denver prohibits pedalers on the 16th Street Mall, as does Boulder on a stretch of Pearl Street — but it must provide alternate routes within 450 feet, as required by state law.
The city’s statement on Monday said it would “look for alternatives” to address safety concerns but would not develop an alternate bike path. “The city has no plans to construct any special accommodations to address this issue.”
I wonder if Missouri State Rep. Rick Brattin (R) reads the Colorado news? Maybe he should! The state legislator is planning to introduce a bill to ban bicycling on at least some state roads. From the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation:
Rep. Brattin appeared on local TV news earlier in January, complaining about bicyclists on the newly completed Highway 150, which runs through portions of Kansas City, Grandview, and Lee’s Summit, near the northern edge of Brattin’s district.
Highway 150 is in the Longview Lake area, one of the most popular areas for bicycling in the Kansas City metro area. Numerous individuals and groups large and small hold daily, weekly, monthly, and annual rides in this area. It is a real center of bicycle activity in the metro area. …
Rep. Brattin is now working on creating a bill to ban bicyclists from certain roads in Missouri, based on his belief that bicyclists should not be allowed on roads like Highway 150. … Brattin had a bill drafted to require bicycles to be inspected, registered, and display a special bicycle license plate. There would be special requirements for bicyclists under the age of 16.
However, Rep. Brattin was not happy with this draft and has discarded it — it is not strong enough for his tastes. He indicated that he wants to introduce a bill that will actually ban bicyclists from roads like Highway 150.
Maybe grumpy Brattin just resents all those happy cyclists.