What You Should Know About National Parks and Ebike Regulations

If you’ve recently purchased an electric bike from E-Lux Electric Bikes, you probably can’t wait to take it with you on all your travels. But if your plans include traveling to national parks this year, there are some things you should know before you go. On August 30, 2019, the National Park Service implemented a new electric bike policy that will be enforced in all national parks. The good news is that the new policy favors electric bikes in many ways. It also clearly outlines specific rules that ebike owners must follow whenever they are on federal park lands. Here are some of the policy details.

Safety Considerations

If you plan to ride ebikes in national parks, you must follow these safety rules established by the NPS to maintain your safety and the safety of those around you:

  • Obey all speed limits.
  • Slow down at intersections and always make eye contact with other drivers before you proceed.
  • Wear a helmet while riding your electric bike.
  • Pay attention to other drivers and drive defensively.
  • Wear reflective clothing and bright colors to make yourself highly visible.
  • Dismount and mount the bike carefully.

While electric bikes are not technically considered bicycles or vehicles under NPS regulations, they are required to obey the rules of the road, including speed limits. Your electric bike may be capable of going faster than the speed limit, but you must stay within the posted speed limit at all times.

Increased Recreational Opportunities

Secretary’s Order 3366 supports an increase of recreational opportunities on public lands. To support this order, national parks are happy to allow ebikes an permitted park areas. A few benefits of ebike use include:

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions when used as an alternative to diesel- or gasoline-powered transportation.
  • Easier and more efficient form of travel for those who might not be able to ride a regular bicycle
  • Decreased traffic congestion and reduced demand for regular parking spaces.

As more electric bikes appear in national parks, they increase the visibility of regular bicyclists and make traveling by bike safer. To maximize your safety and ensure that you follow all regulations, only stick to bicycle-approved trails when riding your electric bike. No ebikes are allowed in wilderness areas.

Find More Information

National parks are beginning to implement the new ebike policy this year. Depending on where you visit, different aspects of the policy may or may not be enforced. It’s important to check with the park you plan to visit before you go to make sure you clearly understand what you may and may not do as an ebike owner. After all, you want to enjoy your time in the park without worrying that you may unintentionally break a rule and face repercussions.

To find more information about national park opportunities for active transportation, refer to the National Park Service Active Transportation Guidebook. It details all information about bicycling, walking or using other forms of active transportation to safely explore the parks. It also gives useful resources to guide visitors toward the best areas where they can experience historical and natural places in the most immersive ways.

The New California Electric Bike Legislation

If you have been thinking about getting an electric bike, now may be the best time to do it (at least in the state of California). California has recently passed legislation that provides funding for disadvantaged communities or low-income individuals who want to experience the benefits ebikes offer. Here’s what you should know about the program, and why electric bikes such as those from E-Lux Electric Bikes are becoming so popular.

New CA Law Details

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new bill (SB 400) on Friday, September 6, 2019. The bill makes bikeshares and ebike use more affordable for all – especially low-income communities. As a result of the bill, more people will now have access to the popular and economically friendly mode of transportation. The bill also helps cut back on air pollution by encouraging more people to get out and ride electric bikes to work, school or anywhere else they are going.

SB 400 is an amendment to the Clean Cars 4 All (CC4A) Program. Previously, the definition of “mobility options” did not include electric bikes. Thanks to SB 400, bikeshare programs and e-bikes are now included. According to the new law, any resident who resides in a participating air quality district can potentially receive up to $7,500 in the form of a voucher. The voucher money can be put toward the purchase of a bikeshare program or an e-bike in exchanged for their regular, gas-powered car or truck.

Benefits of the Law

There are many benefits to the new ebike law and the entire CC4A program, but the main reason it was put into effect is to reduce fleet emissions. It does this by encouraging people to ride cleaner, newer and more efficient vehicles. This will help California meet its air quality standards and make the air healthier for all residents and visitors.

An additional benefit of the SB 400 law is that it helps low-income individuals gain access to a fun and healthy mode of transportation that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. As more people ride ebikes, the entire community also becomes healthier and more fit. Although electric bikes are electrically powered, they can also be pedal-powered, which encourages physical fitness and can boost mental and emotional health.

Legislation Funding

The greenhouse reduction fund provides funding to the CC4A program. When the greenhouse reduction budget has leftover funds, they can be applied as needed to a district. The amount of funding the CC4A program receives is decided on an annual basis. The amount of funding designated to bikeshare and e-bike vouchers varies and is determined by the air quality districts that are participating in the program.

If you live in a low-income area, you may want to apply for a voucher that you can put toward an ebike or bikeshare program. If you qualify, you could receive enough money to help you purchase a good bike that will get you where you need to go in an economically friendly way. In addition to improving your own physical fitness and getting fresh air regularly, you’ll also be helping to make the environment a cleaner and more beautiful place.