UPDATE: Court Hearing


Bicycle Passport Forums Bicycle Passport Forum Ride Shout Outs UPDATE: Court Hearing

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    Mark Nadeau

    Court Hearing Update: 3 days down, 1 to go
    Believe it – Because of the Pretext involved, the Damage Control underway, we have six lawyers (three against three), with an Administrative Law Judge and a court reporter all taking time to “consider” whether Bicycle Passport can conduct a Specially Permitted Ride through the Eisenhower tunnel and down to Silverthorne. The tunnel sits above 11,000 feet and is one of the passes listed by the Colorado Department of Transportation as one of the “passes” it maintains in the State —noting on the same page that some of our other favorites are much steeper. Can you believe it? They are trying to make a case that the descent on the 3 lane highway over a 6% grade is something bicycles can’t handle: “You just can’t handle it!”. If that sounds familiar…
    Last Friday had us presenting our Traffic Engineer who explained the State’s traffic numbers on an early Sunday morning in late September were inflated. Such a surprise really—imagine a government entity inflating numbers. Without the inflated numbers, the traffic flow is smooth and manageable.
    The State countered with more testimony for its non-bicyclist Bicycle Liaison. She admits on cross-examination that she wrote the Policy prohibiting bicycles from conducting a Special Permit at the tunnel. Not some anti-bicycle group, not some “cars are the future” spokesperson. It was the Bicycle Liaison that wrote it. And, then, in favor of her own new policy prepared in secret without comment from the public, she published it on their web-site. Just her little effort to change the law without need of the Legislature. Because she likes her new and unilateral policy, she decided (along with 4 people who work below her at CDOT) to reject the Bicycle Passport permit application. Nice, eh? Just exactly what you would think a Liaison might do to support bicycling in Colorado. NOT.
    Next, the State called its own traffic engineer. The problem was, of course, that this Guy had written a memo saying the proposal by Bicycle Passport was a safe method to conduct the event. Never mind, when did truth matter? The Judge precluded the Traffic Engineer from giving additional “Expert Testimony” because the State had not listed him as an expert. {Did we mention there are 3 senior Attorney General’s Office lawyers on the other side?}. Short story, he admitted knowing about the decision to reject the permit application and agreed with it. Anything to support the Bicycle Liaison for CDOT.
    The last day concluded with an Officer of the State Patrol. He tells the story of meeting with us the first time in August 2018. His version is that he told us the permit would never be approved. Why he spent another hour talking with us is as yet unexplained. He testified he thought it would be unsafe to do such an event at the tunnel. This is – just for the record— completely inconsistent with his statements to us. But, what the hey—how do you spell “Damage Control”?
    We are looking forward to Day 4, hopefully the last day, this coming Tuesday February 18th. More witnesses and Closing Arguments. Please – PLEASE—let this Judge see through the mud and allow our Special Event to occur. To keep us from capturing the 41st Pass…well, we are not thinking bad thoughts…only good thoughts here.
    Sign our Petition. Send an email to the Governor of Colorado. Send an email to the Executive Director of CDOT. Tell them this is nonsense, the law allows this Event and we are on a Quest!
    Shoshana M. Lew
    Jared Polis

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