Town News

Summit County Seeks Public Comment on E-Bikes

Community members are invited to provide input at a Feb. 28 open house or through an online survey.

Summit County is seeking public input about whether to allow electric assisted bicycles (e-bikes) on the Summit County Recreational Pathway System. Community members can weigh in at an open house on Feb. 28, or through a survey available online through March 19.

A new Colorado law took effect Aug. 9, 2017, authorizing the operation of e-bikes on bike or pedestrian paths where bicycles are authorized to travel. However, the law also stipulates that local authorities can regulate the use of e-bikes in their own jurisdictions.

In Summit County, e-bikes are currently prohibited on the Recpath, except for use by persons with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Current Recpath regulations state that no person shall operate a motorized vehicle on the Recpath. Motorized vehicles include every vehicle that is self-propelled, including e-bikes.

“The technology and the regulatory landscape related to e-bikes have changed significantly over the past several years, and we need to ensure that our rules are in step with the times,” Summit County Resource Specialist Michael Wurzel said. “We know how important the Recpath experience is to Summit County residents and visitors, so we want to get everyone’s ideas, perspectives and thoughts on the table.”

Summit County will gather input from the general public at the open house, which will take place from 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Summit County Commons, 0037 Peak One Dr., Frisco. Attendees will have the opportunity to talk with Open Space and Trails staff and County officials, learn more about challenges and opportunities related to e-bikes and provide ideas and input about e-bike use on the Recpath. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

An online survey is available from Feb. 20 to March 19 to gather additional input from the public. The seven-question survey takes about three minutes to complete. To access the online survey, visit www.SummitCountyCO.gov/ebikes.

Public comment through this process will help shape recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on whether to allow e-bikes on all, or portions, of the Recpath or to continue to prohibit e-bikes on the Recpath under current rules and regulations. Any proposed new rules and regulations would require review by the U.S. Forest Service and the towns of Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne.

“This is very much a collaborative process among all the jurisdictions involved,” Wurzel said. “The goal for Recpath management is to provide a seamless experience across the county that is safe and enjoyable for all users.”

The Summit County Recreational Pathway System, commonly known as the Recpath, is an extensive network of paved pathways managed for multiple uses. User groups on the Recpath include dog walkers, runners, families with strollers, recreational cyclists, professional riders training for races, skateboarders, bicycle commuters and others. The Recpath comprises more than 50 miles of paved pathway, maintained by the various jurisdictions through which it passes.

For more information on the e-bikes public comment process, visit www.SummitCountyCO.gov/ebikes.