Thursday, July 1, 2010

Support Central City Instead

Brownie pointed out that the Denver Post had an article today about the Black Hawk ban on riding a bicycle through town, so I'll post it for more Google results, if nothing else, on why Black Hawk remains a backwards town. A couple hundred Denver Post comments duke it out with the usual arguments on both sides, and there was a gathering in Denver.

About 100 bicyclists gathered at the state Capitol Tuesday to protest Black Hawk's ordinance. State Sens. Chris Romer and Greg Brophy were among the speakers.
Thank you Senators Romer and Brophy!

To be fair, we're talking about dismounting a half mile or so through town. Not the end of the world, and if you're not a regular cyclist, this might seem like we're making a big deal about nothing. But these are the troubling aspects:

* Arbitrary: Without any sort of "safety" analysis, the town decides to ban bikes, while still allowing giant buses and cars, for safety reasons in a dense area of pedestrians!

* Precedent: A single town shutting down bicycle traffic on a public highway, and getting away with it, can set this state and country backwards even further in solving its obesity, environmental, and traffic issues.

Taken together, this furthers the notion that cars are the default mode of travel, and bicycles are a recreational toy that needs to stay out of the way. Driving a mile to Walmart, riding an air-conditioned bus to a casino, getting home from work 2 minutes faster so you don't miss "The Bachelor," and shipping loads of useless crap across the country are the hallmarks of Progress -- the True American Right -- so bicycles be damned.

"We're hearing from bicyclists from England, Thailand to Australia who are asking how a city cannot let bicycles through," said Dan Grunig, executive director of Bicycle Colorado.

Not surprising to note incredulity from other nations. For as good as we've got it in Colorado, take a look abroad, where folks of all ages can safely use a bicycle regularly for short trips.

Bikes, here, are the vast minority -- I get that. So are healthy people. I'm not asking for a bike-Utopia, I'm just asking that we don't make stupid decisions that make it even harder to live a healthy life.

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