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July 19, 2009

Colorado County Lawmakers Seek to Ban Cyclists from Public Roads

Jefferson County, Colorado, Commissioners will soon propose state legislation that would give them more authority to bar cyclists from some county roads altogether.

Conflict between motorists, and cyclists, in the reagion are apparently nothing new, abd a recent flair up over cyclists using a canyon road for an upcoming fundraiser didn't help matters.

One Commissioner had this to say: 

"We need to look at (laws) that make certain roads in the county (unusable) by bike traffic," Griffin said. "We're saying to our lobbyist to look at the possibility of having some discretion on what roads can have bike traffic and which cannot. Right now there's clearness for cities, but we can't find that the county can say that."

The County Attorney said  thatstate law gives cities and incorporated towns authority to regulate, but that the law is unclear for counties.\

This proposed legislation wants to add counties to the list.  

The Commisioner went on to say that  "the scenery along some Jeffco roads, coupled with the technical challenges cyclists love, means the county needs more authority for the sake of safety."

"I can understand that they'd love to have a bike tour in the mountains because of the beauty," Griffin said. "But they have to understand — we have stacks and stacks of e-mails from citizens that live there (opposing cyclists)."

While some mountain canyon residents oppose cyclists, other are fellow cyclists, who support cyclist rights to use the roads, especially since their taxes help to maintain them.

From the comments left to this article it seems the Commisioners are not making too many folks, local, or potential tourist, happy with this misguided idea of theirs.

From the Columbine Courier.

Bicycle Colorado is a powerful nonprofit organization dedicated to building a bicycle-friendly Colorado, and they are out to stop this insanity before it becomes law. 

 Even if the Jeffco Commissioners abandon their legislative efforts to let counties have the authority to ban bikes from county roads, the risk to bicycling will still exist. Now that this bill idea is "out of the bag" any other county or legislator may take up this idea and without warning run a bill in the next session.

Bicycle access to county roads is far too important to take this lightly.

If such legislation were to pass, county roads anywhere in the state could be closed to bicyclists, including critical cycling routes like Deer Creek Canyon in Jefferson County, Swan Mountain Road in Summit County, Horsetooth Reservoir in Larimer County, and many, many more. View more key roads that could be closed.

Bicycle Colorado is promoting an action plan for Colorado, and other interested cyclists, to help fight passage of this, or similar, laws, and links to other news coverage of the story, here.

A bunch of misguided, freedom depriving, bicycle hating, car driving, Panty Waistes (I could call them Commies, or Liberals, but I don't have a clue as to their politics, hee, hee!), deemed worthy enough to hold public office in Colorado, want to steal the freedom of cyclists to share the road with other legally allowed vehicles, and your right to travel where you please on public, taxpayer supported streets, roads, and highways!

These officials claim they're doing this in the name of safety.

If this is so, then how come there is no move to restrict the real safety hazard on mountain roads -- automobiles, and motorcycles?

One of the commentors to the Columbine article reports witnessing a local Cop ticketing cyclists, while motorcyclists sped, hell bent for leather, up a mountain road!

The Commissioners claim they are responding to the emailed complaints of Jefferson County road users.

Here's hoping area cyclists email the Jefferson County Commission and, more importantly, show up at Jeffco Commission Meetings, and make their voices heard!

Even if you don't live there you, as a concerned cyclist, can also call them at +1 (303) 271-8525; and send snail mail to 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden, CO, 80419.

Jefferson County Attorney Ellen Wakeman is drafting the legislation. Her office's phone number is +1 (303) 271-8900; her administrative assitant's email address is cblake@jeffco.com.

Give them a piece of your mind...Politely, and instructively, ofcourse. ;-D

If such a law passes in one state, it could pass in others, including your own.

A Tip of the Hat to Cyclelicios for the heads-up! ;-D

 

July 19, 2009 in Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics | Permalink

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Comments

Any route that is banned for bike travel, a statistics of injury/death by motorcycle, cyclists, pedestrians and autos will need to be taken.

From the data you can then objectively determine if the road is safe for each mode of transportation.

This might mean restricting autos on road of course.

If one is pushed with this incredibly illogical idea of banning bikes, how far is one to travel in thought to see more problems this idea of banning freedom of travel will cause?

I see lawsuits in the future for Colorado if such legislation is passed.

The only one that wins in court are lawyers getting fees from this type of law.

It would be wiser to spend those court costs on improving the roads to include painting a line on the side of the road to show a bike/walk/running path.

How about widening the road by a few feet?

Not sure what is happening to America when such ideas become law.

Note that the email of cblake@jeffco.com is no longer working as it has been disabled by the official.

Posted by: Kevin Raymond | Jul 19, 2009 8:43:23 PM

What is wrong with building dedicated bike trails?

Roads were meant for cars and trucks.

It's just not safe for cyclists to share the road.

Sorry, I know that offends cyclists, but come on, when the speed limit on a road is 40 mph and a bike rider is traveling 25 in the same lane, that's not safe.

It's dangerous to the biker and the motorist.

The criteria for using a road should be the ability to safely maintain the posted speed limit.

Posted by: sara | Aug 4, 2009 8:36:44 PM

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