KAJX

PitCo to consider allowing e-bikes on paved trails

May 2, 2018

Pitkin County is considering allowing e-bikes on paved trails, like the Rio Grande and is hoping for one valley-wide policy.
Credit Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Results from a valley-wide survey are in, and they show strong support for allowing some e-bikes on paved trails.

 

Colorado law allows some electric bicycles to be used on pedestrian and multi-use paths, unless local governments decide otherwise. In the Roaring Fork Valley, this has meant inconsistent rules. Pitkin County is leading the charge to implement one policy that spans multiple jurisdictions.

The county and RFTA hired a communications firm to survey the public about e-bike use. Nearly 70 percent of respondents said they support the use of Class 1, pedal-assisted bikes — that is, e-bikes that only provide assistance when the rider is pedaling.

Comments cited the benefits for commuting, and for older people who want to stay active. More than half of those who took the survey are 50 or older; more than 75 percent do not own an e-bike.

Pitkin County staff will recommend that the county allow the Class 1 bikes on paved trails and work with other local governments to do the same. There are still safety concerns about crowding on the upper Rio Grande Trail during busy summer months.