The great bicycle ban

Though cyclists have covered some new mileage this year, a Front Range community is threatening to flatten a few tires. The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners plans to introduce statewide legislation that would permit bans on cyclists on county roads.

The push is in response to a proposal for a charity bicycle event on Deer Creek Canyon Road, a narrow two lane road that connects the foothills and the Denver metro area. The event would have put up to 2,000 cyclists on the narrow byway, and the commissioners denied the permit based on safety concerns and complaints from motorists. But that wasn’t enough, the governmental body wanted to go one further and forever ban cyclists on the road and enable other Colorado counties to take similar steps on similar roadways.

“If counties can suddenly ban cyclists from any county road, this is a pretty scary proposition,” said Dan Grunig, executive director of Bicycle Colorado.

The Jefferson County Attorney is rumored to be in the process of drafting legislation for the 2010 legislative session. At the same time, Bicycle Colorado is in the process of raising awareness and opposition to the push.

“There are a lot of things that can be done within state law to improve the conditions of roads and relieve congestion,” said Grunig. “Banning bikes does absolutely nothing to improve safety if the condition of the road stays the same.”

– Will Sands