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October 3, 2017 > Park District E-Bike Program rolling along

Park District E-Bike Program rolling along

Submitted By Dave Mason

This past July the East Bay Regional Park District announced implementation of a one-year E-Bike pilot program. The pilot program allows electric motor-assisted E-Bikes on three paved Park District Regional Trails, the Contra Costa Canal Regional Trail in Contra Costa County, the Alameda Creek Trail in Alameda County, and the Iron Horse Trail in both Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. E-Bikes will continue to be prohibited on all other Park District trails.

The pilot program is now underway with signage in place on the trails covered. The one-year pilot program will run through September of 2018.

Outreach efforts are also underway. As part of the pilot program Park District staff will be gathering information and feedback, including performing user counts, monitoring usage, and conducting surveys on the trails covered by the pilot program.

Only Class 1 & 2 electric motor-assisted E-Bikes are allowed by the pilot program. Class 1 E-Bikes are pedal assisted and can only be activated through pedaling. Class 2 E-Bikes can be activated through a throttle. Both Class 1 & 2 E-Bikes are limited to low speeds.

All E-Bikes have fully operable pedals and electric motors with less than 750 watts.
ÒThere has already been lots of interest from the community, especially among those with physical limitations,Ó said Dan Cunning, East Bay Regional Park District Unit Manager for Regional Trails. ÒWe appreciate the communityÕs interest in E-Bikes and encourage trail users to continue to follow all bike rules and etiquette.Ó

ÒWe expect all bike users, including E-Bikes, to follow the 15-mph speed limit on Park District Regional Trails and ring or call out when passing,Ó added Cunning.

Paved regional trails are part of the Park DistrictÕs active ÒGreen TransportationÓ network, which helps reduce traffic congestion. The Park District manages over 200 miles of paved, regional trails in the East Bay.

ÒE-Bikes are likely to further increase bicycle commuting on Park District paved Regional Trails,Ó said Cunning. ÒThe Park DistrictÕs Regional Trails play an important role in transportation by providing alternative, non-vehicle options that are environmentally friendly.Ó

Development of the Park DistrictÕs E-Bike pilot program was spurred by Governor BrownÕs signing of Assembly Bill 1096 in 2015, which modernized electric bike regulations for state maintained bikeways. The bill also gave local jurisdictions the authority to regulate the use of electric bikes within their own park systems.

The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 121,000 acres in 73 parks including over1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning. For more information, visit: www.ebparks.org.

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