NEMBA's Position on Power-Assisted Bicycles (E-Bikes) and Trails

Thursday, December 19, 2013

On December 19, 2013, NEMBA's Board of Directors unanimously voted to support the following position about power-assisted bicycles, also known as electric bikes or e-MTBs:

“The recreational use of electric and power-assisted bicycles, ORVs or ATVs on natural surface trails should be managed using the same guidelines and policies as other motorized vehicles.”

Power-assisted bicycles are improving in speed, power, and battery life, and we believe it important for land managers to develop management principles now.  Both the State of New Hampshire and Massachusetts are revising their policies and regulations for their state parks, and NEMBA has submitted official comment urging these agencies to adopt rules now before there is widespread use of these motorized vehicles.

NEMBA is also aware that some senior citizens or people with disabilities might want to use these vehicles on natural surface trails. NEMBA would support this under the guidelines that agencies have already adopted for these special cases. NEMBA would further suggest that management agencies study the use of these vehicles, including even the use of such things as electric skateboards and scooters on paved bicycle paths and formulate appropriate policy for them.