Certain e-bikes good to go in state parks, elsewhere where only non-motorized travel is allowed

JACKSON HOLE, WYO — As the popularity of electric bicycles continues to grow, state, county, and municipal governments in Wyoming are discovering the need to define what an e-bike is and where it is allowed to go.

In Teton County, commissioners and councilors looked at e-bikes and decided to allow certain classifications on local Pathways where only nonmotorized travel is permitted.

At the state level, one important bill addressing e-bikes was passed and will take effect July 1, 2019. The Wyoming State Legislature passed SF81, allowing for the use of correctly labeled e-bikes on state trails and roadways.

With the passage of the e-bike legislation Wyoming State Parks is currently working on rules that will allow the Type-1 e-bikes on our nonmotorized trails within state parks. A pilot program for Type 2e-bikes is also underway to see if they are also appropriate for nonmotorized paths.

“E-bikes allow people who may not normally be able to enjoy trails for whatever physical reason the chance to get into our beautiful parks,” said Domenic Bravo Administrator for Wyoming State Parks and Outdoor Recreation Office.

According to the new legislation, electric bicycles may be operated where “bicycles are permitted to travel…” with the following exceptions:

  • Class 1 or Class 2 electric bicycles may be operated on bicycle or multi-use paths where bicycles are allowed unless otherwise stated by the local authority or state agency with jurisdiction over the specific path or trail.
  • Class 3 electric bicycles shall not be operated on a bicycle or multi-use path unless it is adjacent to a highway or roadway or a local authority or state agency allows that operation.

Persons interested in purchasing an electric bicycle should discuss how and where they intend to use the e-bike with their dealer, who can either provide insight into where the particular bike can and can’t be used or who to contact to get a clarification.

Electric Bicycle definitions

  • Class 1 – electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 miles an hour.
  • Class 2 – electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used to propel the bicycle without pedaling and is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 miles an hour.
  • Class 3 – electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 28 miles an hour.

According to Pathways Coordinator Brian Schilling, e-bikes are not permitted at any time on the pathways north of town along the Elk Refuge and in Grand Teton NP (starting from Flat Creek up to Jenny Lake).

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