Commissioners nix charity bike ride on Deer Creek Canyon Road

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By Nicole Queen

The Jefferson County commissioners have denied a special-event permit for a charity bicycling event Sept.13 on Deer Creek Canyon Road.

Tuesday’s 2-1 decision came after two hearings, the first of which Commissioner Faye Griffin did not attend, and after numerous objections from canyon residents.

Commissioners Kathy Hartman and Griffin voted against issuing a special-event permit, deeming the two-lane road unsafe for the event and citing hostilities between motorists and bicyclists.

“This is my district so I took it very seriously,” Hartman said. “… I am absolutely convinced that the current situation is not as safe as I would like it to be … and I have seen misbehavior by both bikes and cars. … For those of you who live in the canyon, I understand your concern and frustration.

“I have seen a number of people behaving in ways that I wished I had a sheriff’s badge with me, but I decided that was not an appropriate use of my authority. I get to use my authority to the extent that I have it right here. I am just not convinced that this is a safe event.”

Commissioner Kevin McCasky, who voted to grant the permit, said the event should not be penalized for the already existing tensions between cyclists and motorists. He also believed the event could be staged safely.