E-bike survey aims for 'seamless' valley-wide policy

Mar 29, 2018

Cyclists cruise through downtown Aspen last year on e-bikes.
Credit Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Government agencies across the Roaring Fork Valley are teaming to develop a valley-wide policy on e-bike use.

Pitkin County Open Space and Trails and Roaring Fork Transportation Authority are funding a survey to gather public opinion on whether to allow e-bikes on paved trails from Aspen to New Castle. Lindsey Utter, the county’s planning and outreach manager, said the goal is to have one seamless policy.

“It’s just easier for everybody if we don’t have a rule that changes every time you cross a jurisdictional boundary or switch a trail,” she said.

That is not now the case. For example, some e-bikes are allowed on the Rio Grande Trail from Glenwood Springs to Emma. RFTA manages that stretch. They are prohibited on the segment from Emma to Aspen, which Pitkin County oversees.

The survey asks for opinions on class 1 and 2 e-bikes, which cap out at a maximum speed of 20 mph. It covers both pedal-assisted and throttle-powered e-bikes, and it only relates to paved, commuter trails. E-bikes are not allowed on soft-surface or single-track trails.

The survey is open until April 20. Utter said the goal is to bring ideas to county commissioners in May.