Slight majority of respondents support e-bikes on Twin Buttes trails – The Durango Herald
Advisory councils should make recommendations on whether to allow pedal-assist bicycles
Results compiled from a two-year test study of whether to allow e-bikes on Twin Buttes trails reveal that a majority of residents are in favor of the popular new bikes.
After the survey period ended in November, the city sent the survey data to Fort Lewis College for analysis.
Paul Clay, associate dean of the School of Business, said 237 trail users completed the survey during the two-year trial period at Twin Buttes.
Of those surveyed, 83% were cyclists, 3% were e-bikers, 12% were hikers, and 2% were runners.
Clay said the big question to focus on in the survey was whether respondents were against or in favor of e-bikes. Survey results showed that 57% of respondents said they would like e-bikes on the trails and 43% said they would not like to allow e-bikes on the trails.
“The core question of the survey is really question two, which is really why we’re all here,” he said. “Overall, 57% of all respondents thought e-bikes should be allowed on the Twin Buttes trail system. For me, this is the main conclusion of this investigation. »
In addition to the data collected on the Twin Buttes Trail, the city received approximately 130 emails from residents supporting or opposing allowing e-bikes on soft-surface trails.
Durango’s Parks and Recreation, Natural Lands Preservation, and Multimodal Advisory Boards held a joint meeting Wednesday on whether to permanently allow e-bikes on Twin Buttes trails.
“We really just wanted to share our new information from the investigation so that our three councils could have a general discussion,” Parks and Recreation Manager Ture Nycum said.
A motion to support continued e-bike use at Twin Buttes was presented to all three councils near the end of the meeting, but was tabled so that each council could make its own decision.
The type of e-bikes in question are Class 1 electric-assist mountain bikes, which are pedal-assisted up to 20 mph.
Public feedback at the meeting was overwhelmingly supportive of allowing e-bikes on city trails.
Proponents of e-bikes explained how they allow people with physical limitations to use and explore local trails. Those against bikes worry about the speed of e-bikes on the trails and the etiquette of riders.
At the meeting, a sub-committee between the three councils was formed to work on allowing e-bikes on local trail systems other than Twin Buttes. One of the big things to consider in allowing e-bikes on trails outside of Twin Buttes is how it will work with conservation easements on certain trails.
“We want clarity on these conservation easements and what they mean moving forward if we decide we want to allow e-bikes on more trails,” Nycum said. “There are no conservation easements at Twin Buttes.”
E-bikes remain permitted at Twin Buttes as a recommendation and decision is under discussion.