Allowing electric pedal-assist bicycles on the lower Rio Grande Trail, even temporarily during the Grand Avenue bridge detour, should come with greater enforcement of the trail rules, Roaring Fork Transportation Authority staff advises.
“RFTA trails’ staff currently has no enforcement authority and cannot monitor speeds or issue tickets to users for any violations of the Rio Grande Trail rules and regulations,” notes a staff memo for the RFTA board’s consideration.
“If the RFTA board decides to allow the temporary use of e-bikes between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale during the [bridge] closure, staff will need additional resources to assist with enforcement and potentially allow for the issuance of tickets to those violating the rules and speed limit on the trail,” the report advises.
Enforcement questions were also raised Monday as the Garfield County commissioners agreed to sign a letter to the RFTA board in support of allowing e-bikes during the bridge detour. However, the support came with the caveat that the county sheriff would not be asked to do trail enforcement.
The RFTA board, made up of representatives from eight member jurisdictions from Aspen to New Castle, is set to consider two matters related to e-bikes when it meets Thursday morning in Carbondale.
First is a formal request from the Colorado Department of Transportation for the transit and trail management agency to allow e-bikes on the portion of the Rio Grande from 23rd Street in Glenwood Springs to Carbondale during the 95-day bridge detour that begins next week.
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