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Thread: NOVA Parks Hearing in e-bikes

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    Default NOVA Parks Hearing in e-bikes

    In case you missed it in the e-bike thread NOVA Parks has a meeting tomorrow about a proposed change to park rules on e-bikes.

    Meeting materials are here: https://www.novaparks.com/about/pres...2000006QOHQAA4

    According to the meeting materials observed speeds of people on e-bikes is lower than those on regular bikes.


    From the WABA e-mail:
    Tomorrow, NOVA Parks will hear from the public about their proposed policy update regarding e-bikes on trails. Will you be there?

    NoVa Parks will hold a hearing on Feb. 7 in Lorton to discuss changing e-assist bikes
    on Northern Virginia Trails. Public comment is welcome. Find out more here.

    What: Public Hearing on E-assist Bike use on NOVA Park Trails
    When: February 7, 7 pm
    Where: Jean R. Packard Center, Occoquan Regional Park, 9751 Ox Road, Lorton VA

    Submit written comments: Email your written comments (by March 11) to Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov and NOVAParks@nvrpa.org.

    We’ve heard from some of our members that e-assist bikes have kept them active into their older years, allowed them to carry both groceries AND kids on their bikes, and help make long commutes feel reasonable.

    Is that the case for you? If so, share your story at the meeting on Feb. 7, or email your written comments (by March 11) to Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov and NOVAParks@nvrpa.org.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    According to the meeting materials observed speeds of people on e-bikes is lower than those on regular bikes.

    I'd love to know the research basis for that claim. From my experience, I almost never pass e-bikes, but see e-bikes zoom by me and others all the time.

    The 20mph proposed speed limit is a little concerning, as it's pretty high for that busy a trail that has people walking and running on. I think other trails with speed limits have it at 15mph, which is more reasonable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    I'd love to know the research basis for that claim. From my experience, I almost never pass e-bikes, but see e-bikes zoom by me and others all the time.

    The 20mph proposed speed limit is a little concerning, as it's pretty high for that busy a trail that has people walking and running on. I think other trails with speed limits have it at 15mph, which is more reasonable.
    All trail speed limits are stupid and impractical. I hope they don't actually waste time and ink on one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    I'd love to know the research basis for that claim. From my experience, I almost never pass e-bikes, but see e-bikes zoom by me and others all the time.

    The 20mph proposed speed limit is a little concerning, as it's pretty high for that busy a trail that has people walking and running on. I think other trails with speed limits have it at 15mph, which is more reasonable.
    I would too, but from a sample size of me and at the risk of turning this in to a repeat of the e-bike thread: I compared my CaBi average speeds to my CaBi Plus average speeds and I tend to ride a Plus slightly slower than an acoustic CaBi.

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    It looks like no special treatment for the ELF, and it would be treated as an E-Bike. It's about 4 feet; 0.25 Inches wide according to the manufacturer. I could live with a 3 feet wide bicycle, but not 4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by n18 View Post
    It looks like no special treatment for the ELF, and it would be treated as an E-Bike. It's about 4 feet; 0.25 Inches wide according to the manufacturer. I could live with a 3 feet wide bicycle, but not 4.
    As someone who writes rules for a living, it's generally not a good idea to write rules that affected thousands based on one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    As someone who writes rules for a living, it's generally not a good idea to write rules that affected thousands based on one.
    It's also good to use current examples to test whether the rules are sufficient.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    I would too, but from a sample size of me and at the risk of turning this in to a repeat of the e-bike thread: I compared my CaBi average speeds to my CaBi Plus average speeds and I tend to ride a Plus slightly slower than an acoustic CaBi.
    For your Cabi example, you'd need to compare the average speeds on the same routes under the same conditions.

    My gut, without being able to review the study itself, is that the study wasn't controlled or they aren't measuring the same activity that someone is doing on an e-bike vs a regular bike. The population of riders on regular bikes vs riders on e-bikes are generally not the same people. If they are measuring a bunch of fit riders on regular bikes and a bunch of unfit to normal riders on e-bikes, or if regular bikes are naked while the e-bikes are outfitted for commuting, it's quite possible they could see regular bikes with higher speeds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    For your Cabi example, you'd need to compare the average speeds on the same routes under the same conditions.

    My gut, without being able to review the study itself, is that the study wasn't controlled or they aren't measuring the same activity that someone is doing on an e-bike vs a regular bike. The population of riders on regular bikes vs riders on e-bikes are generally not the same people. If they are measuring a bunch of fit riders on regular bikes and a bunch of unfit to normal riders on e-bikes, or if regular bikes are naked while the e-bikes are outfitted for commuting, it's quite possible they could see regular bikes with higher speeds.
    But they studied who was using the trail. It's irrelevant _why_ they were using the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    But they studied who was using the trail. It's irrelevant _why_ they were using the trail.
    It's relevant that they have a controlled population for the study, particularly if they are going to draw an unexpected conclusion.

    I've seen plenty of e-bikes on the trails around and it's rare that they are going slower than regular bikes. If we're going to write policy based on that study, it better be really well done, and stand up to scrutiny. I know personally if I rode an e-bike my average speeds on anything that was uphill or flat would be higher than a similar regular bike in identical conditions.

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