Town Bans Bikes Over Safety Concerns

Black Hawk, Colorado, population 100, has seen increased traffic since building a casino in 1991. Officials say their narrow, Gold Rush-era streets are not up to accommodating both bikes and vehicles, so bikes are verboten.

Bicyclists entering town on Colorado highway 279 must get off and walk their bikes until they exit out the other side. The ban does not extend to the town's residential streets.

Reporter Helen Pidd interviewed city manager Michael Copp, who she says seemed proud of the law: "At this point the council has no intention of repealing the ban," Copp said. "They believe their actions are what's best for its citizens in Black Hawk, which are casinos and their patrons."

Full Story: That's all, spokes: Colorado town of Black Hawk bans cyclists



No concessions

There is a certain logic to the bike ban. Certainly the town needs the casinos and hotels need to be easily accessed by tourists and trucks. Looking at 279 on google maps, it does look like a very small and narrow street.
That said, I don't see why 279 cannot accommodate bike traffic. Also it seems that there are various alternatives to having trucks barreling through that section of town. It looks like Bobtail Rd and Miners Mesa Rd could be designated as a truck route for all through trucks with the section of 279 between Bobtail and 119 as well as Main Street closed to all trucks except for local deliveries. This would still allow tourists to arrive at the casinos as well as allow freight to be delivered. Also it would allow for bikes on through this town. Also bike traffic could be diverted down setback street or behind some of the businesses on the south side of 279.
Obviously I may be wrong. I am basing this off of google maps and have not actually been to the town. Mountain towns have more challenges to deal with due to their difficult terrain, but that doesn't mean that the town should ban bikes. It appears that the town council didn't even attempt to find an alternative solution but rather wanted to get rid of bikes.

Bike ban location-specific.

Let us just say the best and brightest are not on Council up there. That town was a dying backwater until they got gambling, and not many have moved there to do anything but make a low wage in the service industry.

Nonetheless, saving the old people who go there to gamble from the fright of bumping into something but not being able to see what it was is not the worst idea to come down the pike.



Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."