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Handout, Comments to Parks and Recreation Board, 11/26/01~ ~ ~r~ ~ ~ue ~co r ~ nd ~~~.~~~ ~ ~~~ I o ~~~~i_~ Commeats to Parks and Reareatioa Board Vn~ }„~ November 26~'`, 2001 ~- On October 8~, the Transportation Advisory Board of the City of Boulder voted to recommend to the City Council that motorized vehicles be allowed on Boulder's sidewalks and bicycle paths. While the Transportation Boaxd euphemistically calls these machines "electrically-assisted bicycles", they are motorized vehicles as defined by the city. As a pedestrian and cyclist who loves the bike paths, I a.m here to speak of three concerns if motorized vehicles are allowed on the bike paths, many of which run through Boulder's parks. The first concern is safe . Already the bicycle and pedestrian paths aze used by walkers of all ages (from seniors to ~ toddlers), by roller-bladers and skateboarders, by dogs, and by ..... bicyclists who frequently exceed the posted limit of 15 mph. Adding electric bikes would be dangerous. For example, the December 13~, 1999 issue of Velo News states: "The Optibike (one brand of electric bicycles)...really rips! Test riding on single- track trails and streets around Boulder is a blast...You can comfortably cruise at 25 - 30 mph without breal~ng a sweat." It is already crowded on the bike paths. Adding motorized vehicles of any type would add significantly to the existing congestion and danger. The second concern is lack of enforceabilitv. There is no enforcement now, nor will there be, according to Marni Ratzel, City Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportatioa Planner. Opening the door to "electrically-assisted bicycles" opens the door to motorized vehicles of any type. Who and what is to prevent mopeds, electric scooters, even gas scooters from using the paths? A pedestrian has no ehance of catching up with any of these machines to protest. (In ~""' fact, two weeks ago on the Creek Path, in spite of the sign on 13~ y Street specifying "No Motorized Vehicles", I saw two people speed by ~ on an electric scooter...with pedestria.ns, mothers and children jumping out of the way ~ If there were an accident or a near miss, ~ where would one get help? The third concem is noise. Members of the Transportation Advisory Boazd said: "they ma.ke zero noise". In fact, when the demonstration bikes (one of which looked like a moped) were turned on at the meeting, they made considerable noise. Some might say: "Well, there will only be little bursts of noise and speed". Common sense suggests, however, that if there is a motor on a bicycle or scooter, the rider will tend to use the motor most, if not all of the time...both up and down hills. It's just easier. The bikes are heavy (weighing approxunately 60 pounds) and hard to pedal. As Walter Fricke, Assistant City Attorney acknowledged at the October 8~ TAB meeting: ~No one ep dals a moped." The City of Boulder created a network of beautiful ~aths through meadows, woods, and by streams for the use of pedestrians and other activities that are human-powered. Let's keep it that way! "~ .~ Motorized vehicles of an e belong in the bicycle lanes on the city streets...not on pedestrian and bicycle paths. The City Council will vote soon on the recommendation of the Transporta.tion Advisory Board to allow motorized vehicles on sidewalks and bicycle paths. I hope that the Parks and Recreation Board will vigorously oppose this recommendation and will actively work with the Open Space Boazd to encourage members of the City Council to veto the recommendation. Charlotte R. Sorenson 603 Spruce Street Boulder, CO 80302 (303) 440-6955 chaco(n),boulder.com ~ ~ ~tr lke P~c1~Ya ~, ~~ci_~.c~ C'~ "Electrically Assisted" Motorized Vehiclei~~'c~~n ~,~ And Boulder's Pedestrian/Bicycle Paths ~ The follawing are excerpts from an article describing the type of motorized vehicle, euphemistically described as an"electrically-assisted bicycie", that the Transportation Advisory Board of the City of Boulder on October 8~, 2001 recommended to the City Council of Boulder for use on Boulder's sidewalks and pedestrian/bicycle paths. These excerpts aze from "Velo News" {December 13~, 1999): "The Optibike is a full-suspension electrically-assisted bicycle and it really rips! Test riding on single-track trails and streets around Boulder is a blast. It is not one of those electric bikes that just putzes along. Pedaling on flat streets, you caa comfortably cruise at 25-30 :nph without breaking a sweat. On single track, you can accelerate out of tight turns and bounce over rocks up steep clunbs that you normally climb slowly and wheelie over each obstacle.... "The Optibike has lots of power, putting out about 400 watts continuously... "There is no noticeable suspension bobbing; the motor provides constant power and will not activate the suspension....it behaves more like a motorcycle, where bobbing is not an issue... "...(the) bike offers convenience, fun and low environmental impact, and you can easily keep up with city traffic, even while wearing a suit. The bike goes as fast as someoae sprintiag arouad towa oa a road bike, except that you can keep it up for over an hour with only moderate effort." (Bold-face type added) Because of safety issues (speeds up to 25-30 mph; average weight: 60 lbs.), enforcement issues (there is nothing and no one to prevent more powerful models or even gas-powered mopeds and scooters from being used) and noise issues (these motorized vehicles do make noise), electrically-assisted motorized vehicles have no place on Bouider's sidewalks or mixed-use pedestrian and bicycle paths. Keep all motorized vehicles in the bicycle lanes on city streets where they belong. Oulq human-po~vered activities ahould be permitted ott Boulder's besutiful, but already congested, sidewalka aad paths. How can you help keep these motorized veh=~=~~ - off Boul r';s-~ide~val.ks and ~~ ° ~ . z, ~ beaut'~pe ~ s 'tri~a~~~iicycle paths? ~ v>~ .,Y : ~`~:`. ~"~ _ ij Call or e-mail your City_Councilors (see below). _. ~ =~ ~, 2~ Vi.~atch for (in each Sunday's Camera , attend, and speak out •--- at ~;the meeting of th~ Ci~ ""~ouncil when the issue of _-~ allowing motorized vel~el~s~`ori the sidewalks and bike paths _ r=will }ie disicus~e,~i. This ~ieet~g will probably be held in the A -` fir~t quar~er af 2bQ2:~`~ ~, Y -~`'- ~...~. ! i .. •.. Name/Address: Iiome: Name/Address: Home: , ,,; ~ Jl~ayor. . William R. Toor 303/5440104 Mark Ruzzin 303/417-9798 3032 10~ St; 80304 3135 5~ St; 80304 ' toa '.boulder.co.us ruzzinm(a2ci.boulder.co.us DeputX J(a{yor. Thomas Eidridge 303/449-8419 Liza Morzel 303/938-8520 5362 Gallatin Pl.; 80303 2155 Poplar Ave.; 80304 '~i.boulder.co.us morze]Yalci.boulder.co.us Daa Corsoa 303/449-0844 Francoiae Poiasatte 3Q3/444-1136 757 8~ St.; 80302 ' 2636 5~ St., 80304 ; coraoad(al~i.bguldgr.co.us poinsatte~~oulder.co_us „_, Donald R Mack 303/440-fa283 Gordon Riggic 303/530-7181 '~-- 2334 Bh~$' St; 80304 5225 Pinehttrtst Dt.; • ~ mockd~a~ci.hqulder.co.us ri¢xlesealci.boulder.co.us °,_ ~ . SpenSesVf[.FIavlick 303/494-0664 ; 665 Exnpntia Rd; 8Q303 -- .~avlicka'~d.boui~er.co.us _ ~' `, C~Y bJi~ ~~ Sreusv~ ~303 y~a ~9s~ [~03 S rue~ SJ-~ $, B~~~z Ckaco ~I,rould.av, c6m