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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-January 7, 2020-The Parks & Recreation Commission is considering possible recommendations to City Council for a trial period allowing e-bikes on soft surface city owned trails. As part of the continuing dialogue, the commission is looking for additional input specifically on the trial period dialogue.
“We want to thank everyone who has responded to the original questionnaire about e-bikes,” said Parks, Open Space & Trails Manager Craig Robinson. “We’re now narrowing down that discussion and diving into the appetite for an e-bike pilot test program.”
City policy only allows for class 1 e-bikes on the Yampa River Core Trail and Walton Creek Trail (paved trails). Under the proposal, e-bikes would be allowed on additional trails for a one-year trial program. Additionally, there is discussion on whether class 2 e-bikes should be allowed on the Yampa River Core Trail and Walton Creek Trail.
Soft surface neighborhood trails along with some trails on Emerald Mountain are under consideration during the provisional period. It should be noted that the city is NOT recommending the use of Spring Creek Trail by e-bikes.
Many neighborhood trails offer connectivity that allow users to avoid roads and include Blue Sage, Butcherknife, Tamarack Sneak, Bear Creek, Sanctuary, Sailors Way and Fox Creek (to the overpass). See map of proposed trails.
Recent studies have shown that e-bikes cause no more trail degradation than traditional bicycles and have been successfully integrated into much busier trail systems. For example, Jefferson County allows e-bikes with 7 million trail visitors per year.
A proposed trial period would guarantee nothing in permanence but would provide the city with a chance to observe potential changes or issues over a year-long period and see if e-bikes can be successfully incorporated. At present, there is no enforcement of e-bike use on the trails and this would not change without council direction.
“If e-bikes are allowed on only a few trails, it may result in a crowding effect as the options for use will be limited,” continued Robinson. “Alternately, a trial period on more trails may allow for dispersal of users and a more accurate measure of impacts.”
The general public can provide input online via engagesteamboat.net/e-bikes. In addition, registering with the site will allow interested parties to stay abreast of ongoing discussion around this topic.
ContactCraig Robinson, Parks, Open Space & Trails Manager, 970.871.7034 or email Jenny Carey, Open Space & Trails Supervisor, 970.871.7014 or email