Three bicyclists who were ticketed for riding their bicycles in Black Hawk, Colorado, are fighting those tickets all the way to the Supreme Court.
The highest court in Colorado has agreed to hear the case that dates back to the summer of 2010 when the small gambling town in Colorado started enforcing its bicycle ban.
According to Bicycle Colorado, the justices will hear arguments and rule on three issues:
“Whether municipalities may ban bicycling on local streets absent a suitable nearby alternative bicycling route.
“Whether legislation is rationally related to a legitimate governmental interest, and thus a reasonable exercise of police power, when the evidence on which the legislation is based does not address that governmental interest.
“Whether banning bicycling on the only route connecting Central City to the Peak-to-Peak Highway is a reasonable exercise of Black Hawk’s police power.”
What Black Hawk did by banning bicycle-riding on most streets in the city could set a disastrous precedent in Colorado and elsewhere. That's why the membership of Bicycle Colorado is going all out to challenge the ban.
The three bicyclists, Jamie Webb, Jeffrey Hermanson, and Michaleen Jerominus, and their attorneys have been going through the courts for a year. A municipal court judge ruled against them in December 2010, and a district court judge subsequently turned down their appeal.
The bicycle advocacy group presented the case to the Supreme Court in August, and this week the justices said they would hear the case. No court date has been set.
The attorneys maintain that Black Hawk overstepped its rights by not providing an alternative access route for bicyclists to follow. Also, city officials said they banned bikes because of safety concerns, but there are no reports of bike crashes on the road before the ban.
New of the ban brought about calls for a boycott among bicycling enthusiasts. It also created hassles for bicycling touring groups that send bicycle riders through that area.
Map of the streets where bicycling is not allowed: