Should e-bikes be allowed in National Parks?
The National Park Service wants your opinion on the potential impacts of electric bikes in parks, to the eco-system including wildlife, plants and flowers, and to visitors on foot.
The NPS has rules on dogs, off-trail hiking and mountain bikes, camping and cook-outs, boating and other things we do in the parks we love.
So why not rules on e-bikes.
Through July 21, 2023, the National Park Service wants to hear from you.
Currently, NPS regulations authorize park superintendents to allow e-bikes, where appropriate, on roads and trails where traditional bicycles are allowed.
Also, the difference between “regular” e-bikes, which are bicycles with a battery-assist for easy riding on paved paths, and heavy-duty mountain bikes with battery-assist for serious off-roading over unpaved trails punctuated with rocks and tree roots.
Public lands designated by Congress as “wilderness areas” remain off-limits to both traditional bicycles and e-bikes. The NPS is conducting the PEA consistent with court direction to complete an analysis consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act.
Benefits of E-Bikes in National Parks
E-bikes can travel easier, expanding access for those with physical limitations, and provide healthy recreation opportunities.
Downside of E-Bikes in National Parks
At the same time, the NPS must manage this emerging form of access and recreation, like others that occur in park areas, in a manner that protects park resources, values, and visitors.
The PEA evaluates potential impacts to natural and cultural resources, and visitor use and experience, and wildlife on a national scale.
Currently there are limited resources for re-charging e-bike batteries within or near the entrances to national parks, wildlife refuges and other facilities managed by the National Park Service.
So at the very least, these resources would have to be increased – adding another important consideration to allowing e-bikes in national parks.
How to provide feedback
- Online: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/e-bikes
- Mail or hand deliver to: Electric Bicycle Programmatic EA, National Park Service, 1849 C Street NW, MS-2472 Washington, DC 20240.
Note that comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any way other than those specified above. Comments delivered on external electronic storage devices (flash drives, compact discs, etc.) will not be accepted.
Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter currently serves as President of the International Motor Press Assn. (IMPA), a former Board Member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and a current member of the North American Travel Journalists Assn. (NATJA).
Contact me at email@example.com.
Copyright (C) Evelyn Kanter