Park City residents, leaders discuss e-bike etiquette
Aug 29, 2023, 6:25 PM | Updated: 6:53 pm
PARK CITY, Utah — The Park City city council is focusing on an issue that’s spinning in many residents’ minds Tuesday evening.
“E-bikes are a great tool, a great new technology that takes cars off the road,” said Heinrich Deters, manager for Park City Trails and Open Space.
Deters said electric bicycles are becoming increasingly popular in Park City as some residents prefer them to riding the bus or paying to park.
“We’re seeing a lot of younger youths using e-bikes in our community,” Deters said. “It provides a lot of independence.”
However, some trail users do not like e-bikes on the trails and don’t want to share with them.
“We just want to make sure that messaging, the education and the etiquette, and the safety’s on par with the expectations of our community,” Deters said.
Deters said trail etiquette can be interpreted in different ways like bikers letting hikers know about their presence on the trail.
“Not slowing down when you’re passing, probably not using your bell or indicating when you’re coming by,” he said.
But the biggest issue is the speed of the bikers.
“About 70% of the users are riding under 15 miles an hour. With about a quarter more under than 25 miles an hour,” Deters said. “If you’re on a narrow pathway and someone goes by you at even 10 miles an hour very quickly, it can be perceived as very fast.”
Deters said only class 1 and class 2 e-bikes are allowed on Park City’s pathway system.
“Our pathways system is designed as trails that are 8 feet or wider. And that’s a lot of our trails here,” he said.
But riders have their own complaints about hikers and their pets on the trails.
“The riders have concerns about dogs off-leash and how they can run out in front of them,” Deters said.
Deters anticipates issues brought up in the meeting will prompt changes in infrastructure.
“In the mountains, we are limited to topography where we can make maybe a widening or an additional separation of uses,” he said.
But at the end of the day, Deters says it’s a reminder for both sides of the agreement to be more self-aware while out in nature.
“It’s an accountability discussion for us as a community.”
If you wish to learn more about the city meeting, you can go to the Park City website.