Tuesday, December 10, 2019

E-bikes allowed on the rec path

Path etiquette will be examined in the future

By Kendra Walker

After being asked earlier this summer to reconsider allowing e-bikes on the recreation path between Mt. Crested Butte and Crested Butte, and after reviewing laws and rec path easements surrounding the issue, the Mt. Crested Butte Town Council has decided to continue to allow e-bikes on the rec path.

In his manager’s report to town council in preparation for the August 20 meeting, town manager Joe Fitzpatrick explained, “E-bikes with 750 watts of power and a 20-mile-per-hour limit are considered under federal motor vehicle classification, a bicycle/non-motorized. These bikes are currently being allowed on similar recreation paths around our state. Our grants for constructing the recreation path have stated that the path is to be a Shared Use Path.”

Fitzpatrick also said, “This summer we have not received any complaints concerning e-bikes on the recreation path. We have also received multiple compliments and support from Mt. Crested Butte citizens in support of e-bikes on the recreation path.”

However, council still plans to revisit educating people about etiquette that’s currently not being followed along the rec path. “I do think we need to address issues with the rec path,” said councilman Nicholas Kempin. “It gets pretty frightening out there sometimes,” he said, referring to the mix of speeding cyclists, strollers, dogs and other elements that often converge on the steeply graded path.

“People do not read signs, so I hesitate to do much to add signs,” said Fitzpatrick. “We don’t have a way to enforce it.”

“We will have an agenda discussion on it in the future about what other communities have done,” said mayor Janet Farmer.

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