Want More E-Bike Access?
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Many of the places we love to ride bikes on public lands are currently closed to electric bicycles (e-bikes) because of outdated laws governing how e-bikes are defined and managed. Federal agencies are required to draft regulations for the use of electric bicycles classified under the three-class system on public lands including the National Parks, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and Federal Fish and Wildlife.
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Federal land management agencies that regulate the use of electric bicycles (e-bikes) on motorized and non-motorized trails (the U.S. Forest Service – within the U.S. Department of Agriculture – the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Reclamation – within the U.S. Department of the Interior) have historically defined e-bikes as motor vehicles. These are long standing laws that do not recognize what a modern day, low speed e-bike is and does.
Many of these agencies are beginning to recognize that e-bikes are more similar to bicycles than motor vehicles and make bicycle travel easier and more efficient for a wide variety of people. As a result, four agencies – the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation – have proposed new rules that generally would:
– Remove e-bikes from the definition of a motor vehicle in each agency’s respective regulations.
– Provide local land managers with authority to permit e-bikes in non-motorized areas.
– Afford operators of e-bikes the same access as those riding a traditional bicycle.
– Allow land managers greater flexibility to manage e-bikes at the local level.
This is a landmark moment to update federal laws to recognize current e-bike technology and increase recreation and transportation opportunities for e-bike riders. QuietKat supports the initiative that these agencies are taking to make these regulatory improvements and the opportunity for the bike industry, retailers, advocates, partner groups and riders to comment.
We support the use of federally classified electric bicycles on all public lands. Electric bicycles have proven to be safe for use on bicycle trails and recreational paths due to the power and speed limitations set forth in the federal three class e-bike system. Electric bicycles are environmentally friendly and a great way for people to explore public lands without the fitness limitations of traditional bicycles. We support access for federally classified electric bicycles on all trails currently open for traditional bicycles. We support the safe operation of electric bicycles on public lands at all times and on all trails.