In what’s being called a win for accessibility, the city of Toledo, Ohio, is now allowing e-bikes on its Metropark bike paths.
In what’s definitely a win for people with respiratory issues and disabilities who want to experience Ohio’s sprawling bike trails, the Toledo Metropark Commissioners has voted to allow access to e-bikes, skateboards, and other small electric vehicles. And, while this may not seem like a big deal, keep in mind that Ohio actually leads the nation when it comes to bike trails — with more dedicated trail mileage than any other US state.
Great American Rail-Trail
Obviously, though, riders will need to abide by certain rules while sharing these paths with their fellow riders, runners, and walkers.
The first rule is for e-bikes to stay at a “reasonable” speed to prevent crashes and injuries. While there won’t be any specific posted speed limits, Chief Brad Navarre of the Toledo Metroparks Rangers put it like this: “If someone’s going excessively fast, then we’ll ask them to slow down. We’re not going to be running radar for bicyclists right?”
The second rule is designed to keep noise levels low, which means that no internal combustion engines will be allowed on the trails — just electric motors.
The third rule is another “common sense” rule, and asks that riders of e-bikes remain on trails that are at least 10 feet wide to allow for safe passing of slower traffic.
The fourth and final rule states that no vehicles over 100 pounds are allowed on trails, in order to reduce the risk of injury from collisions.
There will be an initial grace period for people who break these new rules, with rangers easing violators into the new regulations with a warning, at first. “They’ll get a warning, we’ll educate them,” explained Chief Navarre. “And then down the road, as people get more used to our new rules and regulations, we can go as far as giving written warnings or even citations.”
It’s worth noting, too, that Rangers patrol the city parks system by car, foot, and bike, meaning that they are available and visible to visitors in all areas of the Metroparks. Drones and other remote-controlled aircraft or watercraft are still prohibited in the Metroparks.
SOURCE | IMAGES: ABC NEWS.