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Park City e-bike survey signals the need to slow down

PARK CITY, Utah — The results from Park City’s 2024 E-bike Community Survey, conducted to assess the impact of electric bicycles (e-bikes) on multi-use pathways and natural surface trails in Park City, have been released.

The survey, aimed at guiding future public policies, has shed light on community perspectives and identified potential enhancements for trail and pathway use in the region. Notably, the survey finds strong resident support for implementing a speed limit on multi-use pathways. The staff report says that a speed limit of 15mph appears reasonable as they move to implement some of the key survey findings.

Key Findings from the Survey:

  1. Multi-Use Pathways:
    • A majority of respondents recognized both positive and negative impacts of e-bike usage on pathways. While concerns about safety and crowding were noted, the overall sentiment leans towards support for e-bikes, provided certain regulations, such as speed limits, are implemented.
    • Specifically, a notable portion of participants favored setting speed limits between 10-15 miles per hour, with minimal support for limits of 20 MPH or higher.
  2. Natural Surface Trails:
    • The survey indicated substantial backing for the current Park City Municipal Code (PCMC) Non-motorized Trail Ordinance, which restricts the use of e-mountain bikes (E-MTBs) except for users with disabilities or those aged 65 and over.
    • Although opinions varied, there appears to be a consensus on allowing E-MTBs on designated trails or maintaining current age and disability restrictions. About one-fourth of respondents supported a complete ban on E-MTBs on trails.
  3. Overall Sentiments:
    • There is widespread support for increased enforcement of existing e-bike regulations, particularly in Park City. Two-thirds of the respondents advocated for more stringent efforts to regulate e-bike use.

Next Steps & Considerations: Following the survey, several initiatives are being considered to enhance safety, improve educational outreach, and better manage e-bike usage:

  • Helmet Laws: While currently not mandatory for the bike share program due to logistical concerns, the city council retains the authority to implement such requirements.
  • Educational Outreach and Signage: The city plans to ramp up its education campaigns about e-bike safety and courtesy, particularly focusing on younger users and public school students.
  • Pathway Speed Limits: With the backing of community feedback, the implementation of a 15mph speed limit on multi-use pathways is under consideration.
  • Designated E-Bike Trails and Safety Enhancements: Additional trails for E-MTB use are not currently endorsed, but pilot projects or extensions in designated areas could be contemplated.

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