Public Comment: E-Bike Use on the Recpath
Summit County is gathering public input on whether to allow electric bicycles on the Summit County Recreational Pathway System.
The Summit County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has received numerous comments both for and against allowing e-bikes on the Recpath. The BOCC has tasked the Open Space and Trails Department with gathering more feedback from the public about e-bikes to determine whether this use might be appropriate on all, or portions, of the Recpath system.
At this time, Summit County is only considering e-bike use on paved pathways - not on natural surface trails.
Community Open House Feb. 28
Summit County will host an open house to obtain input about the use of e-bikes on the Recpath.
- When: 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, February 28
- Where: Summit County Commons, Buffalo Mountain & Mount Royal Rooms, 0037 Peak One Drive, Frisco, CO 80443
Background: E-Bikes in Colorado and Summit County
A new Colorado law took effect on Aug. 9, 2017, authorizing the operation of Class I or Class II e-bikes on bike or pedestrian paths where bicycles are authorized to travel. However, the bill also stipulates that local authorities can regulate the use of e-bikes in their own jurisdictions.
Summit County and the towns of Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco, and Silverthorne maintain and manage their respective sections of Recpath. Each jurisdiction is considering its own rules and regulations related to e-bikes, but we are working toward a shared vision for the Recpath system that preserves a seamless experience for Summit County residents and visitors.
Summit County Regulations & Individuals with Mobility Disabilities
In Summit County, e-bikes are currently prohibited on the Recpath, except for use by persons with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Current Recpath Regulations state that no person shall operate a motorized vehicle on the Recpath, and motorized vehicles include every vehicle that is self-propelled, including e-bikes.
E-bike Definition & Classes
E-bikes, also known as an electric bicycles, powerbikes, pedelecs, or booster bikes, are bicycles with an integrated electric motor that does not exceed 750 watts of power.
Class I e-bikes: bikes equipped with an electric motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 mph
Class II e-bikes: bikes equipped with an electric motor and throttle that can provide assistance regardless of whether the rider is pedaling, and ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 mph
Example of a Class I E-Bike
Public comment will help shape staff recommendation to the BOCC to allow e-bikes on all, or portions, of the Recpath or to continue to prohibit e-bikes on the Recpath under current rules and regulations.
The public comment period closes March 19. Staff make recommendations to the BOCC in April 2018. Those recommendations will be made available on this website.
Any proposed new rules and regulations would require review by the U.S. Forest Service and the towns of Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne.
E-Bikes in Other Communities
E-bikes are a fast growing segment of the cycling industry for many environmental, health, financial and mobility reasons. Mountain communities in Colorado and across the west are currently considering e-bike use on their paved pathway systems. Below are some examples and resources on e-bikes and how communities are regulating them.
- People for Bikes - Electric Bicycle Resources
- Jackson and Teton County, Wyoming - Allows e-bikes
- Park City and Summit County, Utah - Allows class I and II e-bikes; has the nation's first e-bikeshare program
- Pitkin County, Colorado and Pitkin County Open Space and Trails - Prohibits e-bikes pending community discussion
- Snowmass Village, Colorado - Prohibits e-bikes
- City of Boulder, Colorado - Allows e-bikes on certain paved pathways
- Vail, Colorado - Allows class I and II e-bikes on certain paved pathways