Rancho Trail

E-Bike Policy Evaluation

Photo Credit: Michelle DeLateur

In 2019, the Midpen board began considering options for designating specific trails, paved and unpaved, as open to specific classes of electric bikes. A e-bike policy evaluation pilot program was formed in 2020 to study the potential impacts of e-bikes on both paved and unpaved trails.  

On June 29, 2022, in a nearly 6-hour meeting that included staff and research data presentations, public comment from more than 100 people and significant deliberations, the Midpen board of directors passed the following e-bike policies:

  • Allow class 1 and class 2 e-bike access on limited improved trails at Ravenswood Open Space Preserve
  • Allow class 1 and class 2 e-bike access on limited improved trails where bikes are currently allowed at Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve
  • Affirm the prohibition of e-bikes on District trails except for specifically designated trails noted above

As part of its deliberations, the Midpen board reviewed the results and findings related to: (1) a 1-year pilot program of class 1 and 2 e-bike use on select trails within Ravenwood and Rancho San Antonio preserves; (2) intercept surveys conducted within Santa Clara County Parks lands where e-bikes are allowed as a proxy to Midpen unpaved trails; (3) an e-bike noise study conducted by H.T. Harvey and Associates; (4) a literature review prepared by the Science Advisory Panel; (5) Midpen compliance data; and (6) public input. Communication to Midpen regarding e-bikes has been collected, monitored and categorized to track public sentiment since the beginning of the paved pilot in December of 2020.

E-bikes will continue to be allowed in areas where bicycles are permitted as an other power-driven mobility device for visitors with a mobility disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Watch a recording of the meeting

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Public Access, Education, and Outreach
Public Access

 

  • A short-term unpaved trails study was conducted on lands of a regional partner agency where e-bikes are currently allowed, as a proxy for Midpen preserves. The results of the unpaved trails study were presented to the board’s Planning and Natural Resources Committee at a public meeting in early 2022.

 

  • The committee’s recommendations were presented to the full board at a public meeting on June 29, 2022 to decide on appropriate next steps. After a nearly 6-hour meeting that included staff and research data presentations, public comment from more than 100 people and significant deliberations, the Midpen board of directors passed the following e-bike policies:
    • Allow class 1 and class 2 e-bike access on limited improved trails at Ravenswood Open Space Preserve
    • Allow class 1 and class 2 e-bike access on limited improved trails where bikes are currently allowed at Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve
    • Affirm the prohibition of e-bikes on District trails except for specifically designated trails noted above

 

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