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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #351
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    Idunno! Maybe if you just spent $4-$7k on an e-bike, you might be a little entitled.

    Bad behavior... like going 30mph on a MUP? or no? we're still not clear on this.

    Should speed limit signs just say, "It depends..."?
    If you think buying something of value automatically makes one entitled, you misunderstand the meaning of the word. Also, I have some pretty nice e-systems, and none of them are worth more than $1k.

    I think going 30mph on a trail is bad behavior (hence why I wasn't going to Strava it for you). I'm not sure why you're not clear on this yet, but there's a clear statement for you. I'm often the only one to stop at the red lights on the Custis in Rosslyn. I would LOVE to see clear speed limits on the trails, appropriate for the usage and design. In some cases, that would mean 20mph, in other places 15mph, in others still 10 mph. Happy to have that discussion.

    Again, let's have the talk about the behavior. What is appropriate and inappropriate, and what's the best way to change actual behavior on the trails so that it's appropriate (because it might not be changing laws and relying on enforcement)?

    Put another way, if you're argument for banning ebikes on trails is that they have the ability to go fast, then why not ban all bikes/road bikes/road bikes ridden by people who have the ability to go fast? Or should only those people with fitness be allowed to ride bikes that they have the ability to make go fast on trails?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Put another way, if you're argument for banning ebikes on trails is that they have the ability to go fast, then why not ban all bikes/road bikes/road bikes ridden by people who have the ability to go fast? Or should only those people with fitness be allowed to ride bikes that they have the ability to make go fast on trails?
    I guess the reason is sheer numbers. Realistically we are never going to have that many people capable of riding human powered bikes really fast (I forget are we talking over 20MPH, or 30MPH, I am confused) But there is no real limit to the number of ebikes as they get cheaper (which some claim they will ). So its not so much an issue now, as a concern about the future.

    Note, I am not in my own advocacy calling for any change in law. Because A. Alexandria's owned trails probably would benefit from higher usage - and while I can see the potential for problems on Holmes Run, I have not yet heard about conflicts involving ebikes there. B. MVT is NPS, and even were I convinced NPS should allow ebikes there, I would still have to be convinced its a higher priority than other asks we have for NPS, such as better trail mtnce including snow clearing. C. I am only beginning to understand what APD can do wrt to trail enforcement of any kind. I do not intend to comment on what Arlington or DC do. I suppose that leaves NVRPA.

    Another question. If we allow ebikes, do we have to allow segues?
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 08-08-2017 at 12:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Meatmotor View Post
    Idunno! Maybe if you just spent $4-$7k on an e-bike, you might be a little entitled.
    Ok, I'll bite; how is that any different than the person who spent the same amount or more on a road bike?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930AZ using Tapatalk

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  7. #354
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    I guess the reason is sheer numbers. Realistically we are never going to have that many people capable of riding human powered bikes really fast (I forget are we talking over 20MPH, or 30MPH, I am confused) But there is no real limit to the number of ebikes as they get cheaper (which some claim they will ). So its not so much an issue now, as a concern about the future.

    Note, I am not in my own advocacy calling for any change in law. Because A. Alexandria's owned trails probably would benefit from higher usage - and while I can see the potential for problems on Holmes Run, I have not yet heard about conflicts involving ebikes there. B. MVT is NPS, and even were I convinced NPS should allow ebikes there, I would still have to be convinced its a higher priority than other asks we have for NPS, such as better trail mtnce including snow clearing. C. I am only beginning to understand what APD can do wrt to trail enforcement of any kind. I do not intend to comment on what Arlington or DC do. I suppose that leaves NVRPA.

    Another question. If we allow ebikes, do we have to allow segues?
    Volume is a fair concern, but it ignores that people need to get around. Banning ebikes would essentially be saying "all you less-fit folks, you stay in cars/on transit; we want trails to remain for those of us fit enough to use them under our own power". Is that how we should determine how we use public spaces?

    Or maybe we allow ebikes, and start transforming our public spaces including roads to give people more options and room for getting around in ways that don't involve cars.

    And as much as I hate segues, I'm actually fine allowing them in all the places we allow other vehicles that are similarly sized and that go similar speeds. I find them most annoying in DC's bike lanes because they are so slow (and are usually in large tour groups!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post

    Put another way, if you're argument for banning ebikes on trails is that they have the ability to go fast, then why not ban all bikes/road bikes/road bikes ridden by people who have the ability to go fast? Or should only those people with fitness be allowed to ride bikes that they have the ability to make go fast on trails?
    I'm for banning both fast people and slow people on the trails. You can get under the bell curve or you can get out!

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    We've segued to Segways now?

    I'll get me coat.

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    Volume is a fair concern, but it ignores that people need to get around. Banning ebikes would essentially be saying "all you less-fit folks, you stay in cars/on transit; we want trails to remain for those of us fit enough to use them under our own power". Is that how we should determine how we use public spaces?

    Once again, I have issues with this framing. For one thing, the trails are open to and heavily used by people who walk and also by physically challenged people in wheel chairs. Anyone fit enough to ride an ebike is able to walk I think, and is more physically privileged than most wheel chair users. (What we are talking about is ability to BIKE on the multi use trails, not to use them. (leaving aside the fact that many ebike users are quite fit enough to ride regular bikes) I would note in this regard that the Wayne Anderson Bikeway in Alexandria, despite its name, was mostly used by pedestrians (including lots of children) prior to the detour, and there are still a bunch of issues created by mode mixing there. I am looking forward to all the fast cyclists (powered however) shifting back to Arlington, not so much for my own comfort, but to reduce conflict with peds (which I dread both as a human and as a bike advocate) Once again, the parties here are not just fast human powered cyclists and ebike riders. There are slow riders, and the various different groups of pedestrians.

    And while there are certainly problems with many routes parallel to specific trails, I continue to have difficulty with the implication that banning someone from riding on the MUTs is banning them from riding (though we do need to find a safe and legal way for ebikes to cross the Potomac - but that is essentially a DC issue due to jurisdiction)

    Or maybe we allow ebikes, and start transforming our public spaces including roads to give people more options and room for getting around in ways that don't involve cars.

    As I have said, and as I put my personal time into, I want to do the latter. How that times out with the former, not so sure.

    And as much as I hate segues, I'm actually fine allowing them in all the places we allow other vehicles that are similarly sized and that go similar speeds.

    Okay fair enough (but to clarify, you think they should be legal on the Mount Vernon Trail?)
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 08-08-2017 at 01:05 PM.

  13. #358
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    Well put, @lordofthemark. I suspect questioning the morality (or entitlement) of those ignoring the rules for convenience does little to further the real debate, which is how to effectively regulate these bikes. I think the reason I brought that up is that there has to be some commitment from the cycling community to follow the rules if there isn't going to be LE enforcement. If everyone is just going to do whatever is most convenient then it seems a little futile to discuss the regulations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    If you think buying something of value automatically makes one entitled, you misunderstand the meaning of the word.
    Sorry, I should have spelled it out a little more. False sense of entitlement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Banning ebikes would essentially be saying "all you less-fit folks, you stay in cars/on transit; we want trails to remain for those of us fit enough to use them under our own power". Is that how we should determine how we use public spaces?
    This argument makes no sense to me. If I had an e-bike and could average 28mph, I could work out in Leesburg without making my commute much longer. Is that really my right?

    Surely someone not fit enough to ride 20 miles each way to work is fit enough to enjoy the trails for 10 miles on a Saturday. Even were e-bikes to remain forbidden from the W&OD this isn't preventing anyone (with perhaps extremely limited exceptions) from being able to enjoy the trail on a traditional bike. I don't think that everyone is entitled to a MUP cycling commute regardless of how far they live from their office or how in-shape they are.

    I hate the e-bike ad campaign that says that busy lives need faster bikes. It's backwards.

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