filed under: e-bikes and emerging technologies
Transportation in communities across America is changing with the advent of many small and light personal mobility options, which typically run on electric motors, such as electric-assist bicycles (e-bikes), e-scooters (scooters) and hoverboards. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) offers this perspective to assist communities, trail managers and policy makers in making decisions about how best to manage these devices on nonmotorized multiuse trails.
The State of Micromobility
Currently, a range of micromobility technologies are in use as both personally owned and shared devices in many communities nationwide. These devices are evolving quickly, and their introduction to the marketplace is swift—often with limited information about how and where the devices can or should be used. While RTC seeks to offer guidance to communities, trail managers and policy makers about these devices that will be flexible and evolve alongside the market, it is important to understand the context of the technologies that currently exist.
Considering the fast-paced evolution of new mobility options, RTC has defined a criteria-driven approach to managing new technologies to prevent unsafe or stressful conditions while creating inclusive places. As the use of micromobility devices on trails is considered, RTC’s recommendations seek to promote greater trail use, including increased diversity of trail users as well as safe and pleasant trail experiences
by preventing and managing trail user conflicts—objectives that at times may be in tension and require balancing by local jurisdictions.
Published September 06, 2019
This study aimed to compare conventional mountain bike and eMTB use. This was done by investigating 2 questions: (1) What proportion of exercise response is retained for an experienced mountain biker while using an eMTB when compared with a conventional mountain bike? and (2) What are the perceptions and beliefs of experienced mountain bikers toward eMTBs both before and after riding an eMTB?
American Trails contributor Josh Adams recently interviewed Lawrence Simonson, who serves as the Chief Strategy Officer of the PedNet Coalition, to talk pedestrian safety, projects and obstacles, and making a difference in Missouri.
On average, the majority of survey respondents disapprove of e-bikes being allowed on the trail. This remains true across the board for each of the major user groups; however, mountain bike rider respondents are less likely to disapprove of allowing e-bikes on non-motorized trails and equestrian respondents are more likely to disapprove.
In order to better guide research into the range of potential social and environmental impacts and benefits related to the use of eMTBs on natural surface trails, IMBA and the BPSA are interested in what questions land managers have regarding this new use. The survey explicitly targeted land managers’ experiences and concerns regarding eMTB use on natural surface and/or singletrack trails – not paths or bikeways – although some land managers are responsible for both types of trail infrastructure.