As Denver’s trails attract more users than ever before, they’re also the source of more confrontations and controversy — particularly over what can go where, and how fast.

The High Line Canal Trail, for example, extends for 71 miles through eight jurisdictions, two of which do not allow e-bikes. But are e-bike riders any more troublesome than non-electric bikes that go too fast? Or walkers and others incapable of showing courtesy on the trail?

The problems extend far beyond the High Line, as evidenced by the comments on the Westword Facebook post of different e-bike rules. Says Don:

EBikes that are capable of going 20 to 28 miles per hour without any pedaling do not have a place on a trail that is used by a variety of users on foot; 15 miles per hour may even be too fast on the narrow sections of the trail with high usage. If e-bikes are to be allowed, the speed limit should also be strictly enforced with a fine structure — the same as motor vehicle drivers on streets. The logic for this is the same as not allowing 65 to 75 miles per hour in city streets when those speeds are allowed on interstate highways.

Responds Theresa:

 I have an e-bike, and as with any vehicle you have to respect the speed limits posted. It’s easy on my e-bike to adhere to 15 mph or less, but we are constantly passed by road bikes going way beyond the speed limit that don’t even signal.  Maybe you should ride one to see that you can control the speed just fine.

Adds Jason:

I can go faster than that on my fixie, and many non-e-bikes are capable of such speeds and greater. But let’s focus on e-bikes ’cause we hate e-bikes.

Notes Nadine:

Based on the historical issues even in Washington Park of pedal bikes exceeding the speed limits right next to walkers with strollers and dogs, it might unfortunately need to be managed with stringent rules.

Seconds MJ:

Bike speeds are dangerous around walkers, dogs and strollers. Safety should be first priority.

Says Dom:

Nobody understands trail etiquette. Keep right, don’t walk or ride side to side, be aware of your surroundings, clean up after your animals (looking at you horseback riders, nobody wants to deal with a huge pile of manure in the middle of a paved trail).

Suggests John:

Part of the problem is walkers and joggers with their headphones on are oblivious to the fact that cyclists also use the trail. You can ring your bell 50 times and scream “on your left” but they don’t hear you. Then they jump when you pass em. Doesn’t even matter your speed or what kind of bike you are on. It’s ridiculous.

Concludes Tim:

It’s the speed limit that needs to be enforced not the mode of travel.

What do you think of e-bikes being allowed on trails around town, including the High Line Canal? Post a comment or share your thoughts at [email protected]

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