Blaine County officials seek public input for consistent legislation on e-bikes

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(KMVT/KSVT) - As electric bikes become a growing trend in the Wood River Valley, the legislation on the ride has officials concerned.

Sun Valley allows them in city limits, but it’s unclear if they’re allowed in neighboring cities from Ketchum down to Bellevue.

"They are considered — in most peoples' estimation — a motorized vehicle and motorized vehicles are not allowed on those pathways," said Michael David, bicycle and pedestrian program coordinator of Mountain Rides.

Both Mountain Rides and the Blaine County Recreation District recently issued resolutions in favor of consistent legislation throughout the county. They were also open to the idea of perhaps allowing certain e-bikes — not exceeding 20 miles per hour — on paved pathways.

"A lot of the bike shops are carrying e-bikes and it needs to be clear — we think — to the bike shops to the customers and for law enforcement purposes," explained David.

Now they’re requesting your input at their public forums. One was held Wednesday night at the community campus in Hailey. The next one will take place at the Wood River YMCA in Ketchum Thursday night at 5:30 p.m.

They will have bikes on display at those meetings in addition to an informational presentation.

David told KMVT these bikes are a pedal assist that help the bicyclist go up hills or endure longer distances.

"I think once we get the education out there, it'll be helpful as a way to reduce single occupancy vehicle trips, help with parking and traffic issues," he continued. "They're the future, I think."

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