Ready to roll

E-bikes are now permanently allowed on the Twin Buttes trail system, but a final decision on whether riders can go out on other city-wide trails has yet to be determined.

 In June 2020, the City of Durango launched a one-year e-bike trial period at Twin Buttes, a mostly one-directional singletrack system, west of town. A major reason that trail was selected was because it does not cross city-owned conservation easements or federal lands, where e-bikes are not permitted.

 City officials said the trial period was successful, but public opinion remained split on whether to permanently open Twin Buttes to e-bikes. People opposed worry about safety to other trail users given that e-bikes can reach high speeds. And, with a motor, more people can get into remote areas, increasing disturbance to wildlife.

On the other hand, supporters say e-bikes allow people with physical limitations who couldn’t otherwise power a traditional mountain bike to enjoy the outdoors. And, many people say the difference between e-bikes and regular bikes is minimal.

  “I wanted to celebrate this opportunity to include even more people in being fit and healthy,” Councilor Kim Baxter said in a statement. “I’m very excited about this, and I see this as a beginning of how to look at how we can include more people in being healthy on our trails.”

 It remains unclear what the broader implications will be for the rest of the city’s trails. And it may not be an all or nothing deal – it could be that some trails make sense, others don’t. Stay tuned ... 

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