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Pilot program allows E-bikes and Dockless scooters on 5 Austin trails

From Monday, January 14, 2019 through September, electric bikes and electric scooters Austin's Parks and Recreation Department will allow on the following parkland trails as part of a pilot project.

  • Johnson Creek
  • Shoal Creek (south of 15th street only)
  • Northern Walnut Creek Trail
  • Southern Walnut Creek Trail
  • Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake  (electric bikes only)
  • The Boardwalk (electric bikes only)

The Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is implementing this pilot program in partnership with the Public Works Department (PWD), the Austin Transportation Department (ATD), and the Law Department.  All trail rules will still apply on parkland trails including a speed limit of 10mph.
The results of the pilot program will help craft recommendations related to potentially changing City Code. Current code excludes the use of electric bikes and scooters on parkland trails and this will continue to be in effect on all trails that are not part of the pilot.

The trails selected to be part of this project were identified as urban parkland that serve both a recreational and a transportation function. The trails are mostly a hard surface like concrete, traverse several miles and connect to points of interest or to other trail or road networks. 

The pilot project will:

  • Gather feedback from trail users their comfort level while using the trail through online surveys, intercept surveys and more targeted focus groups.
  • Monitor speed of all users (including electric bikes and electric scooters) to understand if the current 10 mph speed limit is being followed and if it is appropriate.
  • Identify pinch points or areas of limited capacity.
  • Include a trail etiquette education campaign to inform users on how to safely use multi-use trails.
  • Update signage to inform users which trails will be part of the project.
  • Identify areas where divided use trails might be appropriate.
  • Track crash reports or injuries related to all users (electric and non-electric)

The public is encouraged to visit https://www.speakupaustin.org/e-trails to learn more and to provide feedback on this potential new use on trails.

 

(Photo:Shutter/By bakdc)

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