Electric bikes on Rio Grande to get more discussion | AspenTimes.com

Electric bikes on Rio Grande to get more discussion

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – Staffers from several agencies will meet to discuss their policies regarding electric bikes on the Rio Grande Trail between Glenwood Springs and Aspen.

Figuring out how each jurisdiction currently approaches the issue should be the first step toward figuring out how to craft a policy that is consistent throughout the length of the trail, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority board of directors agreed Thursday at a meeting in Carbondale.

Board member John Wilkinson, representing Snowmass Village, called for the discussion.

“If there’s a battery with a wire hooked up to something, I don’t think it should be allowed on our trails,” he said.

The city of Aspen, Pitkin County, the county Open Space and Trails Program and RFTA all have a say on restrictions along the Rio Grande. RFTA maintains the trail in the lower valley, outside of Pitkin County.

At present, RFTA doesn’t allow motorized vehicles on the trail, according to Mike Hermes, director of facilities, but the agency relies on the state’s definition of motorized vehicles, which may not include electric bikes, or e-bikes, he said.

The issue came to the forefront when a shop renting e-bikes opened in Aspen this summer, though the Aspen entrance to the Rio Grande Trail is posted with a sign that indicates the bikes aren’t allowed there.

Whatever the jurisdictions decide, the policy probably won’t be put into effect until next summer, the board was told.

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