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Residents weigh in on pros, cons of e-bikes on The Woodlands Township pathways

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Residents weigh in on professionals, cons of e-bikes on The Woodlands Township pathways

With greater than 220 miles of pathways, trails and sidewalks in its boundaries, The Woodlands has an ample provide of services for leisure use for individuals who wish to stroll, bike or use different nonmotorized gadgets to get from one place to a different.

As e-bikes, or motorized bicycles, develop in recognition, nevertheless, the township is looking for public suggestions on whether or not it ought to alter that coverage to permit the autos for use of their motorized capability.

The township would want to develop an training program if the autos are permitted on pathways, together with signage, Parks and Recreation Director Chris Nunes stated. The price of these parts could be about $40,000. Nonetheless, some value financial savings would even be realized if the township now not painted “No Motorized Autos” stencils at 821 areas per yr, which prices about $21,000 yearly, he stated.

Resident response

Residents on either side of the problem spoke at a June 23 board of administrators assembly, the place the measure was tabled to permit additional dialogue.

Maryann Braid, who stated she has served on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Council and labored on the Pedestrian and Bicycle Grasp Plan, stated on the June 23 assembly she was personally involved about security on the paths with e-bikes current. On the time the present grasp plan was formulated, e-bikes didn’t exist of their current kind, she stated.

“I consider autos using as much as 20 mph is harmful,” she stated on the assembly. “Driving of e-bikes ought to be allowed to be a part of bicycling group within the township however shouldn’t be permitted on the paths.”

The grasp plan had decided higher-speed autos ought to use roadways fairly than pathways, Nunes stated.

CT Gooding, the president of the Bike The Woodlands Coalition, got here out in help of the autos on the assembly.“Bike The Woodlands helps a change to permit e-bikes,” Gooding stated. “They’re supported by Texas state legislation and align with insurance policies in bicycle-friendly communities.”

Gooding stated there are some advantages related to the autos.

“Electrical-assist bicycles make it attainable for extra folks to journey a bicycle and make longer journeys,” he stated. “They make customers really feel assured … navigating vast intersections and tough terrain.”

Gooding stated the coalition would help altering the present coverage to a pace restrict of 15 mph to assist mitigate pace points expressed by some residents.

Township choices

Nunes stated there may be technically no outlined pace restrict on pathways, and beneath present legislation it has the choice to permit e-bikes, which might attain 20 mph or extra.

The township orders at the moment outline motorized autos as something that isn’t human powered, he stated. Nonetheless, a number of types of e-bike will be human powered and have a motorized backup.

A state legislation, Home Invoice 2188, permits e-bikes on paths put aside for bicycle use, Nunes stated.

“[E-bikes] could be allowed if the pathway was solely recognized as a motorbike path, … and the board has the choice that they might enable e-bikes [on other paths] in the event that they so select,” he stated.

Public enter is required for the township to succeed in a call on any adjustments, Nunes stated, which may embrace gathering enter on-line, at public conferences or by means of the advisory council. A public listening to could be wanted for a coverage change, he stated.

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