Commissioners grapple with vexing questions related to new breed of electric-assisted bikes; changes to regs would require buy-in from U.S. Forest Service
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The county commissioners continued to juggle a potentially hot political potato this week, as they tried to decide how to deal with the issue of electric-assisted bicycles on the local recpath system.
According to a memo from the open space and trails department, local bike merchants and others have asked the county to amend existing recpath regulations to allow the use of E-bikes.
Spelling out the issues, the memo explains that the majority of the 55-mile path system is on U.S. Forest Service land, where special use permits specifically designate the paths for non-motorized use. With the exception of the county commons, the rest of the paths cross private lands on individually negotiated easements. Any move to approve the use of E-bikes would involve re-writing those agreements and permits.
As motorized vehicles, the E-bikes are specifically prohibited on the paths, but they are, in fact, already in use in Summit County. For now, the county commissioners are still grappling with the question of whether or not they should be allowed, and if not, how to effectively enforce the ban. Here’s an overview of E-bike laws. Visit Electricbikes.com for some information on the many types of vehicles on the market. (more…)
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