Sunday, August 1, 2010
Interboro just received the new issue of Reclaim, the magazine we get for being members of Transportation Alternatives. After reading the issue's depressing story about the MTA's dire financial situation, and getting mad all over again at the State Legislature for nixing congestion pricing, voting "no" on east river tolls, and stealing $143 million from the MTA to plug budget gaps, we came across a story about a town in Colorado (Black Rock) that banned bicycle riding because it is in "the best interest of its citizens, its businesses." The latter are primarily casinos (the town's population is 118).
Is this even legal? Is there a precedent for it? A quick Google search turns up a handful of bike bans and proposed bike bans: In Missouri, St. Charles County Council member Joe Brazil proposed banning bicycles from several roads around the town of Defiance. In Kansas, the community of De Soto banned bicycles from 83rd Street in their town, citing safety issues on a two-lane road with no shoulders. A bicycling.com article thinks that the Black Hawk ordinance is not enforceable, and that if it is not addressed, it could create a frightening legal precedent. The bicycling.com article concludes that in Colorado, where local authorities are authorized to regulate the operation of bicycles, cities do not have the authority to regulate whether you can operate your bicycle.
The good news is that it looks like the lawyer of good are fighting back against the lawyers of evil. There's even a "boycott Black Hawk" Facebook page (1,705 likes!).
In the meantime, "BICYCLE BAN" wins a place in our Arsenal of Exclusion.