The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department wants to update their rules regarding electric bicycles.
As we were first to report last summer, electric bikes are not currently legal to ride on paths in Oregon State Parks. That’s because park paths are governed by Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR), which currently classify electric bicycles as “motor vehicles” — thereby prohibiting their use. (Note that roads outside of state parks are governed by Oregon Revised Statutes which define e-bikes as bicycles). With the rising popularity of pedal-assisted e-bikes, State Parks officials recognize that the OAR is outdated.
Now they’ve begun the process to officially amend the rules to make it clear that electric-assisted bicycles (as defined in ORS 801.258) are allowed in State Parks. The OPRD website has posted a “notice for proposed rulemaking” and there’s a comment form to receive public feedback.
It’s fun to report two separate bits of news about bike friendliness in the state park system on the same afternoon.
Milo McIver State Park and Champoeg State Heritage Area are both upgrading their bike amenities, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department said Wednesday. They’ll get new lockers for gear and food storage; phone charging stations; and bicycle fix-it stations, plus new group shelters. A third park, Bullards Beach State Park on the southern Oregon coast, will be upgraded too.
A seasonal Oregon State Parks employee is leading a free introduction to bike touring in the Colombia River Gorge this month.
The 30-mile trip on Saturday, Aug. 22, will start at 9 a.m. outside Hood River, and loops to Mayer State Park and back by 5 p.m. Here’s the description from Oregon State Parks:
You will learn what equipment is necessary, how do you plan a route and pack panniers or a trailer to be successful. We will discuss the light impact of bike touring is on the environment and other traffic, and the positive effects on small town economies. By the end of the program you’ll have resources to take away and learn more about this exciting way to see the world around you!
I was just going to Tweet this until I read that they only do this “once-per-decade.” Please take this survey so the state’s policies and investment strategies line up with how trails are actually being used.
Check the official announcement below:
Survey Of Non-Motorized Trail Use By Oregon State Parks
The Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring a once-per-decade assessment of non-motorized trail use. The survey covers trail use anywhere in Oregon, from local parks to national forests.
Survey responses will help local, state, and federal agencies efficiently allocate funding to meet the needs of non-motorized trail users. The survey, and each question in it, is voluntary. All responses are confidential – they will only be reported as part of larger groups.
People who fully complete and return the survey within three weeks will be entered into a drawing for one of two Oregon State Parks 12-month day use passes and one $100 grocery store gift certificate.
Please complete the survey by November 26th.
If you have any questions about the survey, please contact the project lead, Kreg Lindberg, email@example.com
Looking to take bicycle tourism to the next level — and to solidify the direct connection between bicycling and economic development — Oregon State Parks wants to create a network of covered bike facilities they say will “redefine the cycling experience.” The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) call these facilities “bike pods” and “bike hubs” and if all goes according to plan there will eventually be 19 of them throughout the state, with the first one set for construction this summer.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
As we’ve been covering since the legislature passed it back in July, a pot of $42 million in Oregon Lottery-backed funding is now available to bicycling projects for the first time ever through the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Connect Oregon program.
And, not surprisingly, when the application process opened at the end of last year, ODOT was flooded with biking and walking projects from throughout the state. Of the 108 applications sent in, 35 of them were in the “Bicycle/Pedestrian” category (the other categories are aviation, marine, rain and transit) and the dollar amount for those projects totaled more than any other mode.
Now ODOT has released more information about each project, so we decided to take a look.
Portland-based mountain bike advocacy group Northwest Trail Alliance has signed what they are calling a “landmark agreement” with Oregon State Parks. The agreement — the first of its kind between the agency and a user group — gives the NWTA the authority to design, build and maintain a network of new mountain bike-specific trails in L.L. Stub Stewart State Park (in western Washington County about 30 miles west of Portland).
The agreement is welcome news for the NWTA, who just last month found themselves having to respond to an illegal mountain bike trail that was discovered in Forest Park.