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Thread: NOVA Parks Hearing in e-bikes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    at the risk of turning this in to a repeat of the e-bike thread
    I hope you're proud of yourself.

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    I've read the study's report, which is only 5 to 6 pages long, and it seems that they only browsed the web, looked up statistics, to come up with their conclusion, but I could be wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    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.
    What is the relevant fact for policy though? "Ebike riders are on average faster than the entire population of regular riders" is almost certainly true. But "many ebike riders ride at a safe speed" is also probably true, and "many regular bike riders exceed the speed of a major chunk of ebike riders" is also probably true.

    Since, Dasgeh will likely point out, there are significant policy gains from allowing ebikes on trails, and since the model califorina law allows class 1 ebikes on trails, it seems like showing that there is a significant group of ebike users who ride relatively slowly is worth knowing.

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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.
    Is that not relevant for policy? I mean I don't intend to buy an ebike until I am far less fit than I am now. If the population of ebike riders is heavily older less fit folks, or folks schlepping kids (despite the marketing about a new paradigm for ebikes), then does that not suggest that the negative impact of allowing them on trails is less, and the gains more? Its not worth comparing apples to apples if what we are going to allow is mostly oranges.

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    Default NOVA Parks Hearing in e-bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    I hope you're proud of yourself.
    Risk has become issue. I did not implement a proper risk management strategy which in this case should have been avoid but I encourage everyone to copy and paste their posts and provide official feedback to NOVA Parks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    Is that not relevant for policy? I mean I don't intend to buy an ebike until I am far less fit than I am now. If the population of ebike riders is heavily older less fit folks, or folks schlepping kids (despite the marketing about a new paradigm for ebikes), then does that not suggest that the negative impact of allowing them on trails is less, and the gains more? Its not worth comparing apples to apples if what we are going to allow is mostly oranges.
    The population is relevant for a study, and the study is being used to justify policy. You can't draw accurate conclusions where two different sample groups are used as extraneous variables could be the actual cause. To do a proper study, you'd need to hold steady external variables such as fitness (e.g. FTP), time of day, and weather conditions between the two sample groups.

    I don't agree that the e-bike population is heavily older, less fit folks or folks schlepping kids. Most the e-bikes I see while commuting (and even during recreational times) are healthy aged individuals using a vehicle that is faster than a regular bike and doing so to save time/energy on their trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    I don't agree that the e-bike population is heavily older, less fit folks or folks schlepping kids. Most the e-bikes I see while commuting (and even during recreational times) are healthy aged individuals using a vehicle that is faster than a regular bike and doing so to save time/energy on their trip.
    I am one of those of who you speak, commuting on an e-bike primarily using the region's trails as a fit young person. I'm curious whether you think that e-bikes should be allowed on trails and whether that opinion has anything to do with the e-bike user's motivation for using the trail. Perhaps I've got the wrong idea from your post, but it seems wrong-headed and judgmental to distinguish between "legitimate" and "illegitimate" use of an e-bike on a trail, with the elderly and kid-hauling on one side and young and healthy on the other.

    I'm asking because as a regular e-bike rider that uses MUPs daily as part of my commute, I acknowledge that e-bikes are sometimes misused on bike trails whether from traveling too fast for conditions or lack of etiquette, or both. I've seen it happen, but surely there's a sensible way for e-bikes to co-exist with other users. Already, MUPs are shared by many users whose motivations are already at odds, case in point hardcore time trailers versus parents-with-strollers (or really, everyone else on the trail). What's the difference with e-bikes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsionakides View Post
    The population is relevant for a study, and the study is being used to justify policy. You can't draw accurate conclusions where two different sample groups are used as extraneous variables could be the actual cause. To do a proper study, you'd need to hold steady external variables such as fitness (e.g. FTP), time of day, and weather conditions between the two sample groups.

    I don't agree that the e-bike population is heavily older, less fit folks or folks schlepping kids. Most the e-bikes I see while commuting (and even during recreational times) are healthy aged individuals using a vehicle that is faster than a regular bike and doing so to save time/energy on their trip.
    The question is what are you studying. In this case, it's not "do ebikes make any given rider faster" but "would allowing ebikes on trails* increase speeds of all bikes on trails." The reason behind why or why not speeds would increase is irrelevant (i.e. if the population of folks who ride ebikes ride them more slowly because they are more risk adverse, because they are less "protective" of their speeds, because they don't have the ability or whatever).

    *I read VA law to say ebikes are allowed on trails.

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    The people I see riding ebikes are, indeed, often young to middle aged - the older folks are mostly retired, and not too many people have child care arrangements that lead them to taking their kids on my route from Shirlington to DC. I would bet though that they would be far from the fastest regular bike riders either. Certainly they don't appear to be faster than the faster of the regular bike riders, IME.

    My own personal bias comes from my interactions with cars on roads, at crossings, at the curb cut at my building, and my interactions as an advocate. I want more people out of cars, more people who experience (most of) what riders experience, more people advocating for trails and bike lanes and complete streets and lower speed limits on roads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    Risk has become issue. I did not implement a proper risk management strategy which in this case should have been avoid but I encourage everyone to copy and paste their posts and provide official feedback to NOVA Parks.
    I'm abstaining on this one out of respect for those who might use them responsibly. The postings of one advocate lead me to believe that the increased dangers from them on trails not designed for them are being willfully and selfishly discounted or ignored, but as I've said before, they'll be on the trails either way ... so whatevs, have at it folks.

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