oregon parks and recreation division

State Parks Commission approves new rule allowing e-bikes on paths and trails

Avatar by on August 31st, 2018 at 2:09 pm

Go ahead and ride that e-thang!
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Last summer we threw a bit of cold water on the very hot trend of electric-assisted bicycles when we reported on the little-known fact that e-bikes were prohibited on paths and trails managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD).

At the time, OPRD acknowledged that they never intended to exclude e-bike riders from popular paths like the Historic Columbia River Highway and Banks-Vernonia Trail. The situation, they felt, was a matter of the law not keeping up with the times. Oregon’s vehicle code recognizes e-bikes as bicycles; but OPRD facilities are managed with Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) which didn’t mention e-bikes at all. This meant they fell into the category of “motor vehicles” and were managed as such.

In response to public pressure to address the issue, OPRD began the process to amend their rules last September. Today we confirmed with agency staff that the State Parks Commission has approved a rule change that explicitly allows electric-assisted bicycles on all paths and trails eight-feet and wider unless otherwise posted.

The approval means that OAR 736-010-0015 now includes a statutory definition for “electric assisted bicycle” that is a carbon copy of Oregon Revised Statute 801.258.
[Read more…]