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Park City Council to vote on expanding e-bike access to single-track trails

PARK CITY, Utah – Park City officials are contemplating a change to their regulations on electric-assisted bicycles, potentially expanding their permitted use on single-track trails beyond the current pilot program at Deer Valley.

On Friday, June 28th at 10AM in Council Chambers at City Hall (on Marsac Ave.), Park City Council will take public comment on the proposed e-mountain bike pilot program and accompanying amendment to current code. The amendment reads:

e. This prohibition shall not apply to the use of Class I electric-assisted bicycles on natural surface trails designated for the use of such bicycles [meaning electric assist bicycles] by the local highway authority [which is the Council] and marked by traffic control devices [meaning trail signage]. 

The suggested amendment to the ordinance allows the council to designate what trails e-mountain bikes can be used on and does not specify an age requirement for use.

Electric-assisted bicycles will not be able to access all trails in Park City if the amendment is adopted. The proposed resolution would only designate the newly-opened Clark Ranch trails as e-bike territory. The single-track loop starts along Richardson Flat road and is 3.5 miles long and is labeled as beginner to intermediate mountain bike terrain. Other areas may be added down the road as the council sees fit under the amended ordinance.

For the pilot program, City Council supported one trail in the Lower Deer Valley and Deer Crest area to connect the Deer Valley East base area. Several issues, including the construction of St. Regis and Founders Place and erosion that has impacted trails in the Deer Crest/Deer Valley East area, have slowed the progress of the pilot program, the staff report says. 

In addition, discussions about which trails are on private land and which trails are on public land have surfaced, creating questions about who should be allowed to make decisions about how those trails are used.  

Currently, e-mountain bikes are not permitted on natural-surface trails in Park City. That could change at an upcoming City Council meeting. (PCM sign)

Mountain Trails Foundation is staunchly opposed to the e-bike pilot program and accompanying Code amendment because they say Park City has no plans for enforcement, nor does the City have plans for measuring the success or failure of the pilot project.

Results of the recent e-bike survey indicate that the public would not be supportive of a change in the current ordinance. 66% of people in Park City and 59% in the wider district supported support additional enforcement of the PCMC ordinance that regulates ebike usage on natural surface trails. Currently, there are exemptions for people with disabilities or for those who are 65+ in both jurisdictions in the use of e-bikes on naturally surfaced trails, which most people are in favor of. 

“Once written into Code, the amendment opens the door to eMTBs throughout the trail system at Council’s pleasure,” Mountain Trails posted on their website, in opposition to the proposed amendment.  

TownLift reached out to city government officials for a statement, but the request was not immediately responded to by press time.

The council will be taking public input on the matter both at the meeting and via email to council_mail@parkcity.org.

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