After voting to ban electric bikes from trails this spring, the Durango City Council will revisit the issue in the coming months after hearing from senior citizens.
Motorized vehicles have been banned on trails for years, but electric bikes, or e-bikes, were specifically added to that list for clarity and because some council members believed they might pose a safety issue. Riders can face fines for riding the bikes on trails.
The city’s rule is consistent with those set by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
Durango City Councilor Dean Brookie asked the council to rethink the rules after hearing from senior cyclists about the e-bikes.
Some e-bikes have a set top speed around 20 mph and require the rider to pedal to engage the motor, while others have a throttle and look more like a motorcycle.
Brookie told his fellow councilors it is unlikely the police could enforce the ban on pedal-assist bikes because some of the motors are in the hub of bikes.
“It’s not a matter of the device, it’s a matter of speed,” he said.
Mayor Christina Rinderle agreed the council should look to craft rules that regulate behavior, rather than bikes.
The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board will look into the issue to help advise the council, Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz told the advisory group at a recent meeting.
“I think you guys should be well schooled,” she said.