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Posted by on Jul 17, 2009 in Bicycle Culture | 12 comments

It Can Happen Here, Too

From The Columbine (CO) Courier:

Amid the controversy over a proposed charity bicycle event on Deer Creek Canyon Road, the Jeffco commissioners will propose state legislation that would give them more authority to bar cyclists from some county roads altogether.

Conflict between motorists and cyclists is nothing new on the canyon roads west of South Jeffco in the foothills. But a recent battle over using a portion of Deer Creek Canyon Road for a September fund-raising event has spurred the commissioners to seek broader authority in making some roads off limits to cyclists. The county attorney’s office will draft the legislation soon, and the county will try to get a legislator to sponsor it in the 2010 legislative session.

For the rest of the story go here.

Florida also allows municipalities to restrict bicycle traffic on their streets, though they could not ban bicyclists from state or county roads.

The actions in Columbine are a natural, reasonable outcome of a culture which believes motorists “own” the roads and bicycling in traffic is inherently dangerous.

ft collins bicycle ban(BTW, I learned of this through the APBP list.  Bob Shanteau also shared this photo of a state road in supposedly “bike-friendly” Ft. Collins, CO with a bicycling prohibited sign.)

12 Comments

  1. Wow, that sure seems like a “thin edge of the wedge” situation. If one community can do it…

  2. All of this was couched in the language of “safety for cyclists” when the facts show that cycling is safer than motoring. Reactionary laws to restrict, instead of finding common ground and solutions that work for everyone. Jeez!

    Re: the picture: You said it was a state road — how are they able to ban cyclists from riding on it? I thought the only gray area (legally speaking) was County roads?

    I also note that it is a multi-lane road — why ban cyclists when it is so easy for trafic to simply change lanes and go around?

  3. In _Florida_ neither a municipality or county could ban bicyclists from a state road. Evidently this is not the case in CO.

    “why ban cyclists when it is so easy for traffic to simply change lanes and go around?”

    Well, because bicycling on roads like that is so dangerous! Geez! Isn’t that obvious!? Really now, it’s for your own good… besides, there’s a perfectly good auxillary street beside it… except that it doesn’t run the complete length of the arterial and you’ll have to deal with cars backing out of driveways, parked cars, additional turning conflicts at intersections, the inability to access some left turns, and detours at some cross streets.

  4. Get the picture, motorists (and their elected leaders who usually control such matters) don’t want to STR. Will the tyranny of the majority be realized? “We have stacks and stacks of e-mails from citizens that live there (opposing cyclists).”

    Frightening rhetoric and a growing problem: the commissioners seek broader authority in making some roads off limits to cyclists. The county attorney’s office will draft the legislation soon, and the county will try to get a legislator to sponsor it in the 2010 legislative session.

  5. “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

  6. At least one town in Texas has successfully banned cyclists from pretty much all their roads. Click on website link for details or google “Hunter’s Creek Bike Ban.”

    The Texas laws restrict municipalities more than the Florida ones. I think Mighk’s optimism about Florida may be misplaced. Read Florida 316.008. Particularly parts g, h, i, m, n, t, and maybe s (bikes ARE regulated by CPSC).

    As for the state road part, a Florida burg would just have to get state permission as provided in part (3). A little hysteria would probably suffice.

  7. In that picture of the CO road, not only is it multi-lane, but the outside lane looks pretty wide, AND there is no parking permitted. Cyclists could ride there and STILL safely let motorists pass with little or no effort even in the right lane. What’s the point?

  8. JohnB, the point of the pictured road’s bike-ban is because there is a parallel street with bike lanes. It’s the growing back-lash of “give and take”.

    LAB’s Andy Clarke has stated that he is OK with that ban, as he wouldn’t want to ride on that street either, but would rather have the “comfort” afforded by the nearby bike-lane (that doesn’t serve the full length of this road).

    The way to avoid bike-bans is for cyclists to quit feeling like they are entitled to special privileges and facilities, to conspicuously obey the traffic laws, and for cycling advocacy groups to not tolerate cyclist behaviors that threaten our free access to public roads.

    Bicycle access is not a right, but a privilege granted by the state. The state can (and may) reclassify bicycles as “toy vehicles” if too many cyclists continue to act like they are.

  9. PM wrote: “The state can (and may) reclassify bicycles as “toy vehicles” if too many cyclists continue to act like they are.”

    That is one of the best statements on group riding (in particular), and cycling in general, I’ve read in a long time. I’m going to share that with some folks who need to hear it.

  10. Has Andy Clarke ever taken any League cycling courses? Even Road I (now known as Traffic Skills 101)?

  11. Mighk said: “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

    +1 for the Animal Farm reference!

  12. It’s trying to happen here too. Notice, again, the “safety” argument. We play right into their hands when we complain about roads being dangerous. Motorists don’t own that, they put it back on us.