March 12, 2021
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Electric bike (e-bike) access on City trails will be expanded during a year-long pilot program starting May 31. The program will allow Class 1 e-bikes, pedal-assist bicycles that can only be activated through a pedaling action, on all City trails that currently allow bicycles, rather than just urban trails. The pilot program will also allow, for the first time, Class 2 e-bikes on urban trails only. Class 2 e-bikes can be activated by pedaling or through a throttle element limited to low speeds. Additionally, a speed limit of 15 miles per hour will be implemented for all bicycles, on all trails, whether or not they are electric powered.
E-bike usage has significantly increased in recent years, prompting communities nationwide to look at and update trail policies. Colorado Springs first started allowing Class 1 e-bikes on urban trails in February 2018. Urban trails, like Cottonwood Creek, Foothills, Pikes Peak Greenway and the Sand Creek trails, are typically described as local commuting and recreational trails that traverse neighborhoods and connect to the City’s core urban areas.
“We’re at a point, now, where we’re ready to test what expanded e-bike access looks like in our community,” said Scott Abbott, regional parks manager. “During the year-long pilot program, which is a result of listening to the community and extensive research, we will evaluate usage and how it impacts the trail system and the overall user experience. We want to make sure the new policy is working and is the right decision for our community.”
“One of the strongest arguments in favor of allowing e-bikes to use the same trails as bicycles is inclusion and connecting people who represent all ages and abilities to recreation. This, of course, is rooted in our mission at the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department.”
The decision to implement the pilot program was reached following stakeholder meetings and a community-wide survey in November 2020 that collected input on the possible expansion of e-bike access on trails. More than 1,600 surveys were received.
For more information on e-bike usage in Colorado Springs, visit ColoradoSprings.gov/ebike.
This press release was produced by the City of Colorado Springs. The views expressed here are the author’s own.