The Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to consider the Black Hawk Bike Ban issue.
The casino town of Black Hawk, Colorado banned biking on most city streets in 2010. A trio of cyclists — Jamie Webb, Jeffrey Hermanson, and Michaleen Jerominus — biked through town and received citations for violating the bike ban.
While Representative Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood) and Senator Greg Brophy (R-Wray) introduced special interest legislation to explicitly prohibit local bike bans like this (they were stymied by the state legislature’s Democrat leadership, who ensured the bill died in committee), Webb, Hermanson and Jerominus have been taking their fight through the court system with the help of Bicycle Colorado. The city judge and District judge affirmed the tickets, so the defendants’ attorneys asked the state Supreme Court to review the case. Colorado’s highest court agrees to one review for every 14 requests they receive.
A week ago Monday, the Black Hawk Bike Ban was published in the Court’s list of announcements. The court has agreed to review these issues:
- Whether municipalities may ban bicycling on local streets absent a suitable nearby alternative bicycling route.
- Whether legislation is rationally related to a legitimate governmental interest, and thus a reasonable exercise of police power, when the evidence on which the legislation is based does not address that governmental interest.
- Whether banning bicycling on the only route connecting Central City to the Peak-to-Peak Highway is a reasonable exercise of Black Hawk’s police power.
The first two issues are especially important. The first issue addresses a fundamental right to travel which, as far as I know, has never been tested in a bicycling case like this. The second issue addresses the Black Hawk’s contention that they enacted the bike ban for “safety” reasons when, in fact, there’s no evidence that bicycling in Black Hawk is unsafe.
A date for the hearing has not yet been set. For updates, follow this page at Bicycle Colorado.