Federal Rulemaking for E-Bikes On Trails May Be Changing

Posted on in category Biking

E-Bikes on trails has certainly been a local issue here in Backyard Bend. You have probably seen the posted notices on some of our local mountain bike trail systems. Regardless of where you stand on the debate, the issue is evolving and federal agencies are considering BIG changes. Below is an article from People For Bikes. You can read the full article and find links to submit your comments to federal agencies as they consider changes.


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. PeopleForBikes 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. LINKS TO COMMENT HERE.

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