“Cheater!”: Tensions rise as Coloradans debate how much trail access to give e-bikes | SteamboatToday.com

“Cheater!”: Tensions rise as Coloradans debate how much trail access to give e-bikes

Some say they’re a great tool for accessibility. Others argue they’re bringing chaos to the backcountry.

Olivia Prentzel
Colorado Sun

E-bike advocates have long touted them as a safe, environmentally friendly way to extend the promise of the outdoors to those unable to navigate trails on traditional bikes, including older riders and people with disabilities. But critics compare e-bikes to motorcycles and fear they could pit other trail users against cyclists in general, jeopardizing hard-fought trail access for mountain bikes.

In Boulder, where e-bikes are permitted on paved trails but prohibited on the city’s Open Space and Mountain Parks trails, land managers are looking to amend the status quo on e-bike trail access.

The city drafted three options for modifying the city’s e-bike rules, ranking each against several criteria, including community support, equitable access, safety, the ability to regulate, and how well it aligns with Boulder’s climate initiatives. Staff has recommended an alternative that allows e-bikes on all 34 miles of city open space trails — 22% of the 154-mile network.

The city recently used a 19-question survey to solicit community opinion and will use the information to develop permanent e-bike regulations for Boulder trails and open space. Key findings from the survey will be used to present a proposed ordinance to city council later this year or early 2023.

Read more at ColoradoSun.com.

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