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New e-bike rules could be coming to Park City, Snyderville Basin

Watch for an e-bike survey in the mail - or a QR code to fill one out at a trailhead - soon.
PaulShlykov - stock.adobe.com
Watch for an e-bike survey in the mail - or a QR code to fill one out at a trailhead - soon.

With increasing complaints about bikers and walkers not mixing well on popular trails, Park City Recreation and the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District will unveil an e-bike survey in the next few weeks which could mean future rule changes for electric bikes.

At Wednesday’s Summit County Council meeting, the chair of the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation Board, Brandi Connolly, told councilmembers the survey will put fact to fiction about what’s happening with e-bikes on local trails.

“We feel like we know because we've heard but we really haven't heard from a statistically valid group,” she said. “That's an example of taking this and making it actionable and making decisions about what changes and policies we implement. Because right now, the basin's policy is different than the city's policy on what we have for e-bikes.”

Basin Recreation District Director Dana Jones says some residents will see an e-bike survey in their mail soon. It will be a random sample of addresses in both the city and the basin. After those surveys are returned, the questionnaire will open to anyone who wants to give input. QR codes will also be placed at some of the trailheads.

“It'll be really interesting to compare the data of residents versus users,” she said. “Our goal in general is just to take the pulse of the public and have that help us drive, hopefully, to a point where Park City Municipal and Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District are all aligned in our policies and what we're doing with the bikes. So that when you're riding down one of those trails that travel between the two districts, it's very clear what the regulations are and what is expected of you.”

As part of the Park City Council’s discussion this week on a revised bicycle and pedestrian plan, the main comment from residents was a desire to separate bikes from pedestrians on the busiest trails. Park City Manager Matt Dias says it’s an issue that needs to be discussed.

“We are seeing this become more prevalent in cities across the country, where bikes and e-bikes and otherwise are becoming a real commuter pattern and can take trips off the road,” he said. “We may need to reconsider or widen in certain areas and consider different types of technology or infrastructure that allow these uses. Ultimately, these are going to be policy decisions. We need people's input. This is where we need to hear from people if that's what they want. So, then the mayor and council can make a policy decision around that.”

Jones says the survey will be mailed out next week and the results could be presented to the board as soon as its May meeting.