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E-bikes create regulation confusion

Oct. 3, 2010 at 4:36 PM   |   Comments

DENVER, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Municipalities in Colorado are trying to sort out how to deal with the use of electric-assisted bicycles and Segways on trails, bureaucrats say.

Underneath what should look like a non-problem is an intertwining web of state, local and federal ordinances affecting the use of green commuting and recreation vehicles, The Denver Post reported.

"It's unbelievable how confusing it is," said Gary Tennenbaum, open space and trails stewardship manager for Pitkin County Thursday. "But we need to do something, because they are here and they are different."

Adding to the regulatory mish-mash over electric bicycles is the range of models, ranging from bikes with added power only when the rider is pedaling to scooter-like devices with throttle controls not requiring the rider to even pedal, the Post said.

"It raises an interesting question about whether it would be motorized or mechanized," said Bureau of Land Management spokesman Steven Hall. "An electric bike could easily bridge that otherwise easy demarcation."

With Segways, the law is more clear. Both federal and state law prohibit their use on trails unless a local jurisdiction allows them or persons with mobility impairment operate them, the Post said.

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