Summit Daily letters: E-bikes not the right fit for our recpath
E-bikes not the right fit for our recpath
The Summit Board of County Commissioners is currently considering legalizing the use of motorized e-bikes on our recreation paths. As community members, parents and business owners since 1978, we have enjoyed the extraordinary benefits of those paths for many years.
In recent years, we have watched recpath traffic increase exponentially, specifically with the advent of van rides to the Vail Pass summit as a bike shop rental benefit. Concurrently, St. Anthony’s sees a significant number of bike accident victims — locals and tourists.
Folks with disabilities are within their lawful right to use e-bikes. More recently, we have seen not only illegal e-bikes, but motorized scooters and skateboards on our paths. As there is no enforcement, we suspect that many able-bodied folks may not be aware of the current “no motorized vehicle rule,” or simply choose to ignore it.
If this law goes into effect, bike shops will capitalize on the increase in rentals from riders who choose e-bikes over non-motorized bikes. The change will also add more motorized riders on the paths with non-motorized riders, further jeopardizing safety. Perhaps even more concerning, it opens the door for next conversations in regards to legalizing other motor-supported recreational vehicles.
How do other communities manage motorized vehicles on the same paths and sidewalks as children and adults under their own power? How does the county plan to enforce the rules now and in the future?
Summit County is still a place where many folks come for the safe and quiet enjoyment of the amazing natural beauty. Those places are becoming scarcer for all of us.
We urge our community to consider the longer term effects of this e-bike rule change and how it impacts all of us who live, work and visit here.
Lyn Manton Krueger
and Dennis W. Krueger
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