Colorado County Attempts to Ban Cyclists from Roads

County Commissioners in Jefferson County, Colorado, announced that they are asking for statewide legislation that would let counties ban bicyclists from county roads of their choice, according to an article in the July 7 Columbine Courier.

No, sadly, this is not a joke, and it could have long-lasting effects even if this particular attempt fails.  BicycleColorado.com has taken up the cause, and they’ve made it easy to stay informed and tell your friends.  Here’s their action list:

  1. Join the Movement – Now is the time to add your voice to this issue. Join Bicycle Colorado. If you don’t know if you are a member, use our Am I a Member form to check.
  2. Spread the Word - Post this information to your blog and Facebook page, forward to friends, teammates and clubs.
  3. Get Connected and Be Ready to CallSign up for eNews to receive updates on this issue and to receive the alert for when to call your legislators.

The have more links on their website of resources and answers to common questions, but the most obvious one is Why?  Well, unfortunately, there seems to be no good answer.  Based on the Courier article, commissioners recognized that there are “severe” issues between motorists and cyclists on certain roads.

So, rather than enforce the freakin’ law that says cyclists have the same rights to the road as cars, Jefferson County commissioners decided they would not only deny a recent charity bicycle event a permit, but that they would go ahead and try to get the right to ban cyclists from any road they want.  Brilliant, eh?

Commissioner Faye Griffin said she supports the proposal citing “safety concerns” for cyclists.  Well, if “safety is paramount,” as she claims, then again, I say enforce the law and penalize any motorist that threatens or harms cyclists.  That would send the RIGHT message…that we will not tolerate terrorists on our soil, whatever form they may take!

Of all states, it’s the biggest surprise to us that this comes from Colorado.  When it seems that just about every other nook and cranny of the U.S. is making advancements in cycling safety, infrastructure or, at the very least, awareness, how can one of the healthiest, outdoorsy states possibly bring an idea like this out in the open?  Ri-darn-diculous, and hopefully no legislator is dumb enough to sponsor the bill in the 2010 session.  In a state like CO, hopefully, that would be political suicide.

Thank to Cyclelicio.us for the tip on this.  Forward this on to as many cyclists as you can…let them know about this, and encourage them to get involved now…or, like it or not, your state could be next.

Comments

Bryan Wilman - 07/18/09 - 9:28pm

Well, an absolute boycott of the place might work.

And a legal argument based on “freedom of movement” – one could argue that while there must always be alternate routes to interstates and the like, the same is not true for county roads – and so to try to ban any practical form of transport from them (be it bicycle, tricycle, wheelchair, travel a foot) may be an unconstitutional infringement. (Or not, only the courts could say…)
(But of course it would take only one good SCOTUS ruling to put the chill on this sort of nonsense…)

John B - 07/19/09 - 12:16am

I hear there are carcinogens in the air.. i say we ban people from breathing as well…………

[...] it was country bumpkins in Colorado’s Jefferson County that want to ban cyclists from county roads (or at least have the right to select some roads), now some Iowa ruralites seem [...]

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